Thursday, December 03, 2009

Check Out My New DIGS!

I love my new background and header on my blog! They were made by shabby blogs and guess what? They have more fun backgrounds, headers and other fun stuff that are FREE! I have a new background on my craft blog too which is different than this one. FUN STUFF!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

RAK request for little boy with cancer

I'm passing on an RAK (random acts of kindness) that my friend, Melanie, posted.

This is a request for Christmas cards for 5 year old Noah. He is in the last stages of a 2 1/2 year battle with Neuroblastoma Cancer. He is not expected to survive to Christmas. The family is celebrating Christmas next week and when asked what he wanted for Christmas Noah's request is to get lots of Christmas cards.

Lets get him some, please send cards to:
Noah Biorkman 1141 Fountain View Circle, South Lyon, MI 48178.

Here is a video link of Noah,

It was just over a year ago that
Melanie posted an RAK for my nephew, Marcus. Unfortunately Marcus didn't survive long enough to receive very many cards but our family really felt the comfort of the prayers being said on his behalf. I hope we can bless Noah's family with many cards to shower them with love and compassion.

Thank you so much.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Updates on Jessica and Bella

In my last post we thought Jessica had broken a tooth... or at least it seemed to be cracked all the way across the tooth and we were hoping to get her in to see the dentist ASAP. Well, thank goodness Jessica's dentist was able to get her into his office the very next day. And the best news is that her tooth wasn't as bad as we thought! They were able to fix it completely. Look at that smile. She is so glad she won't lose her tooth!

Karl, Jess and Jennifer the dental assistant

Unfortunately Jessica didn't handle the pain very well and she became exhausted. We had a rough night that night and she didn't get to sleep until almost 9am the next day. We've had several bad nights recently and it's wearing on us all. Actually, three days after Jessica saw the dentist she got very sick; throwing up and diarrhea for a couple of days. Then I got it. Thankfully nobody else in the family got sick except that Austin felt nauseated and missed one day of school.

Now for an update on our kitten, Bella. As I wrote in my last post, Bella's stitches from her surgery (spade) came undone and got infected. Bella had to be taken in for a 2nd surgery to remove the infected areas and re-stitched. This time with wires. She got stuff stuck in the wires and we were worried about her incision being clean so the 24-hr emergency place suggested we get a baby t-shirt and put it on Bella. We got a newborn size, put it on her and it was HUGE! LOL! We got a large safety pin and pinned it. We also tied a knot in the end of the t-shirt so it would stay over her wound. This lasted about 3 hours then she was almost out of it so we ended up taking it off.

Karl went to PetSmart to purchase the special collar and even the smallest one was too big! Look at poor Bella, she could hardly even hold her head up much less eat or drink! LOL

Is there a kitten in there somewhere? (Brandon is trying to help her)

Are you getting the Disney channel or is that a lampshade from the wild party last night?

Fortunately Daddy is such a handyman and he was able to cut it down and reset the holes, etc.
What a silly little girl!

Here is a little video of Bella all decked out.

Here is Bella a few days later playing with an empty medicine cup. We took the video in the bathroom so she wouldn't run off like she usually does. She reminds me of Jessica... she doesn't let anything get in her way! That cone on her head didn't slow her down one bit. (If the video seems a little long (about 2 1/2 min), it's ok to not watch it all. Jessica does appear in the video several times and seemed to be competing with Bella for the center of attention. hehe!) Enjoy!

I am posting from the family computer because my internal Internet card went *poof*. We are going to have to take it in and see what can be done. Maybe we'll just buy an external Internet card. We just had to buy a new faucet for the kitchen sink because the old was leaked and sprayed water all over anytime we turned it on. Now the stopper in the kid's bathroom sink is broken. Oh, the joys of home ownership! Of course the laptop thing isn't a major crisis or a home ownership thing but it is important to me.... and to the kids. They want me to use my laptop in my craft room and let them use the family computer. LOL

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Murphy's Law? Or Jensen's Law?

If something can go wrong it will? Yes, that would be us!

Jessica cracked a tooth last night and is from the tip of one side of the tooth 3/4 of the way across to the other at a diagonal - which is dangerously close to the! I am just praying it doesn't brake off! We are going to contact the dentist early Monday morning and have her seen. We are going to have them just pull the tooth. The last cavity that she had filled just sent her over the edge and it took several days for her to recover from the ordeal. I just know she is going to have a hard time with her tooth being pulled and having it heal but I just can't see putting her through having to have a crown. She is too old to go to the CRS clinic and we sure can't afford a crown... in fact, we aren't even sure if our dental insurance will cover her or not since we haven't had to use it for her yet... but we just want to do what is best for her. She even said: "Let's just pull it out and get it over with!"

Also, we had our two kittens that we kept, Hanz and Bella, spade and neutered last week (at the tune of around $150 including shots & tests for feline leukemia since Bella's eyes constantly run and that could be a symptom of FL but fortunately both kittens are negative for that fatal illness)... well, Bella's wound started to open Friday afternoon after the clinic closed, of course, so I had to call the after-hours place. $85 just to be seen! No thanks... we bought the smallest cone thinggy (that the emergency pet place recommended) and put it on Bella. Poor thing couldn't even lift her head, it was so heavy! So Karl cut it down, drilled holes, etc, so it would fit her. All this happened just as I was trying to get ready to go to my Creative Memories workshop Friday afternoon. Bella wore the cone over night. So on Saturday we took her back to the clinic and $54 later Bella had been sedated, wound cleaned because it was infected and stitched re-done in wire - which has to be removed in 10 - 14 days. She also has to wear her cone until then. So last night I gave her the meds (which she hates)... and I noticed that she has carpet fibers caught in the wires. The vet told us that they leave pointed wire edges out so that the animals won't lick the wound but Bella was licking anyway - hence the collar. Well, what do I do about the carpet fibers being caught in there? I tried to gently tug at some and she went 'postal' on me. I decided to put her to bed and call the 24 hr place again today.

The vet was really nice especially after
we told her about Jessica. She gave us some cream to put onto Bella's wound for free and wrote down the emergency phone # for us and wrote her name down. She told me to be sure and mention her name and the emergency place might see us free of charge as a courtesy if they can't get a hold of her. I'm going to call them this afternoon and see what to do about the carpet fibers. The clinic won't be open again until Tues. Well, we have to get Jessica's tooth taken care of on Monday anyway... that is if it doesn't break off before then!

I don't know why just one thing can't go right?! I was up late last night (haven't been to bed yet) with Jess while she was in a lot of pain trying to go poop. No, she isn't constipated. It's just that hard sometimes. :*(
I've been trying to jump through the right hoops to get Jess into a pain specialist who might actually know how to treat her type of pain(s).

I'm finally headed to bed (6:30am - which is actually the earliest I've been to bed in about 5 days). Pray for peace. Pray for a quiet day and a restful day today. Pray for us to be able to get Jessica's tooth taken care of tomorrow and for her to be able to handle it well. And even if it seems silly, please pray for our little Bella's wound to heal quickly. She brings so much joy to our family - especially to Jessica. Both kittens do. Thankfully Hanz is doing well and trying to take over Scamper's duties of getting into trouble. LOL (Scampers went to his new home a week ago. I hope he is adjusting well.) Also, don't forget to read my post below about Jessica's bunny, Mary. Thank you so much!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Farewell to Mary Elizabeth Potter

Mary Elizabeth Potter, Jessica's bunny, died last month. Mary was a Netherland Dwarf rabbit and was about 10 years old when she died.... that's close to 100 human years.

Mary hanging out in her favorite spot: on Jessica!

These two loved each other and Jessica held Mary like this almost every day.

Here is Mary in her small home in Jessica's bedroom. Mary knew her way home from the bathroom, down the hall to the rug in the kitchen doorway, then a big hop across the hallway into Jessica's room and into her cage. Mary loved to chew on empty toilet paper rolls. She would pick it up and wave it around. She would sometimes even throw it with her mouth! She liked pushing that green ball around her cage as it makes noises when it moves. Mary spent the nights outside in a larger cage and came inside to hang out with Jessica in her room during the day. Everyone who met Mary fell in love with her instantly. We all miss her very much - especially Jessica!

Mary was named after a character that Jessica made up several years ago. Mary Elizabeth Potter (the character in Jessica's book) is Harry Potter's long-lost twin sister. Jess has written and illustrated several books about her and her adventures. (I dare any editor to try to make sense of her writings but I know exactly what Jess wrote. LOL) Jessica's e-pal, Matt, sent Jessica a journal that he personalized for her to write all about Mary Potter. That was her first book and it took her about 4 years to complete. Her next books also include some characters from Lord of the Rings! I believe that Jessica recently introduced Link (the character from the "Legend of Zelda" video game series) and Pokemon. All very fun and exciting!

We are starting our hunt for another bunny. Mary was a true dwarf and as you can see, was the perfect size for Jessica to cuddle with and hold. We would love to find another dwarf rabbit - preferably a black one since Jessica would like to name it: Professor Snape! (perfect name if you ask me!)

Please pray for her to be comforted and for us to find her another bunny companion. She misses her cousin, Marcus, immensely and now she missed Mary too.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jessica with baby kittens

I hope you enjoy this little video I made of Jessica playing with the kittens. I posted it to facebook awhile back... last week I think? But this is for all you non-facebook believers. haha!

Jessica loves playing with the kittens. We bring them into the house for her to play with - and of course to feed them and let them run around and play - but it is the one thing that Jessica can count on every day that makes her laugh and puts a huge smile on her face. She gets worn out a little from playing with them but it's worth it. We've decided to keep two kittens... the yellow one and the stripped one with golden tones. Jessica is in pain every day so it's good to see her smile, laugh and play with the kittens. ENJOY!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The 3 little kittens they lost their mittens and they began to cry....

That song keeps going through my head because.... as you know, it's NEVER boring at our house... there is always something going on. The latest: we have 3 little kittens who's mother (who is also just a kitten and a farrel we've been feeding but can't catch) is running out of milk and the neighbor is threatening to kill them if they get into his yard again. So we have to cage them up in an old rabbit cage that my hubby build quite a few years ago (but the bunnies have since died of old age). The cage is large enough for the kittens to run a little and climb around but we get them out and let them play in our house and back yard and spend time with their mother. She is still trying to nurse them once a day and I imagine it's good for her and the kittens. edited to add: we had to stop allowing them to spend time with their mother because she tried to hide them and we were afraid they would end up getting run over.  We ended up taking two into our home - the orange one who we named Hanz and the short-faced one who ended up being a girl and we named her Bella. We feed them the wet cat food and they really dive into it. They are so stinkin' cute! But of course they get the food all over themselves and end up very dirty. I've had to wash the stinkers. They do have two little litter boxes and they are learning to use them quite nicely.

I am trying to teach them to drink from a bowl and it is so funny! One tries to bite the milk (special formula from Wal-Mart) and the other two are afraid they will get too wet and don't understand that they need to lick it. The kittens chewed off the nipples of the special kitten bottles so I have to feed them with an oral syringe. Of course we have plenty of those around. lol

Here is the orange one exploring water shortly after we watered the orange tree.
He is very curious but cautious. We've learned that he doesn't like being alone... he wants to be near one of his siblings.

Isn't he she cute? SHE has kind of a flat face and is quite cuddly... well, sometimes she is.

We named this one Scampers and when he was old enough we gave him to one of Jessica's home health aides.

These two look a lot alike but in real life you can see the color differences and of course the one in the back has a flatter face. The one in front we call scampers because he loves to scamper around and get into trouble. He is the one who led his sibblings into the neighbor's yard. Fortunately the neighbor's neice we there visiting and helped us get started feeding these little guys. Unfortunately she was called away and isn't around anymore. She does want to keep Scampers but she was called to duty in Irak... I don't know how for how long she will be gone. I'm sad she had to leave, too. She is a true hero. Not only is she a soldier, ex-police officer but a cancer survivor too. She gave me her address and phone # and I hope we can keep in touch. She is a reall trooper! (every pun inteded) lol

What a cute little kitten! We don't have a name for him yet. Any suggestions? We named him Hanz and call him Hanzie.  He is still such a lovable cat.

Scamper has the most adorable eyes!

Brandon with Scampers.

Brandon is such a natural with these kittens. He is also very protective of them.

Jessica also loves the kittens. She has helped me feed them too.

We are going to keep the one with the short face... at least that is the plan for now. We don't have any takers for the orange one and as far as we can tell, they are all boys... but they are still very small and we aren't 100% sure about any of them. The plan is to capture their mother and have her "fixed" and then fix the one we are going to keep. There is one cat that has been eating at our house for awhile and we think he is the dad. He isn't coming around much since Taz has had the kittens. (I named her Taz after the Tazmanian devil because I caught her once and all I saw was fur and nails as she ripped my hands apart trying to get away! LOL) So Taz has chased White Toes away for the most part but I think he may come back more often once Taz has stopped nursing her babies and has been fixed. BTW, the kittens showed up on Jessica's 21st birthday! They were barely able to walk a little and Taz was dragging one kitten towards the food we had left out for her. I went around the corner of the house and found two more kittens! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JESSICA! :-) She was so sick that she only got to hold one kitten and then had to go back to bed with her major migraine and vomitting. (My poor baby!) You can read more about that post if you scroll down my blog page. I'm too tired and lazy to post a link right now. I had better get to bed since it's 5:30am now! yikes!

Good night and thanks for visiting! By the way... these cute kitten were discovered on Jessica's 21st birthday!  What a blessing they have been and continue to be.  

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A good day

We finally had a really good day today! Jessica was finally feeling up to going to our local support group, Tu Nidito. They were having a picnic and we had hamburgers & hot dogs grilled by chef Randy! (one of our awesome volunteers who's wife takes Jess and I to lunch every so often). We visited with another family who have 3 girls, one of which is battling leukemia for the 2ND time. :*( They are so cool tho and Jess had fun sitting with them and talking with them. Austin even came! It's been several years since either Brandon or Austin went with Jess and I so it was a real treat for him to come. Everyone made him feel so welcome that he thinks he will try coming back in September after our Summer break. ; They have made some huge changes at the Tu Nidito house (it used to be a home and then was turned into offices and then used for our support group. They received a grant and another awesome building with 4 classrooms and an office in the back, a lot more parking (including handicapped) and a new playground with REAL GRASS! And not that sparse grass where you see a blade or two every once in a while, but real thick grass. Most of you are probably laughing at my obsession with grass but not if you've lived in Southern AZ. Water is expensive and the sun burns grass up. So most people don't have lawns and the public parks usually have the 1/2 dead grass. My CHD friends think I'm nuts when I've gone to KS and CT to visit them and "oooo" and "ahhh" over how green everything is. {that was back in 2001 and 2003 - I used to have somewhat of a life. :-P}

OK, back to Tu Nidito... behind the house is a patio area which has been also been refurbished. It has a small grassy area and nice waterfall with a small pond. I never had a chance to go to the back to see it all during the construction since Jess insists on NOT taking her wheelchair and she can't walk all the way back there. Little did I know that they had opened up the back wall so we could see from the patio a lot of what had been done.

I took a couple of pictures... unfortunately I didn't get the landscaping before it got dark. I'll have to post some later since it's almost 5 am and I need to get some sleep if I'm going to take Jess to her appointment (and I dare not miss this one!)

Thank you for the many uplifting comments and emails I've received here and on facebook lately. My mom called me after reading my last post and my sister has been very worried about me and Jess... yes, things are quite tough around here a lot and I really need the support, but there are still many reasons to smile and many reasons to laugh - and I believe there are still many more to come.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Jessica turned 21!!! But is sick yet again!

First of all, I want to thank those of you who sent emails, e-cards and snail-mail birthday cards to Jessica. She has been so happy to receive them and asks a lot of questions about who it was that sent them to her: how old are their children, where to they live, do they have heart problems too? etc. There are several emails and e-cards that she hasn't seen yet because she has become quite ill - AGAIN.

Jessica's party on Saturday was a hit and she really enjoyed having people over... but she was quite blue and tired. The party was quite fast since I knew her stamina was very low. When it was time to open her gifts, Grandma Jensen sat beside her to help her since she seemed so blue and tired. I talked to my MIL later who told me that Jess was even shaking a little. But she had huge smiles for everyone and was so happy with not only the gifts but of course everyone who came.

Jess was quite tired and more weak the next few days and I rescheduled an appointment that she was supposed to go to on Monday because of it. The young women from our church came over Tuesday night and celebrated her birthday then. (Tues is their usual activity night). Jess was having a hard time being perky and happy even with cupcakes and pudding cake being served. Several times she leaned over on a pile of pillows on the couch and lay there. I gave her some morphine and got my camera out. She then remembered that she has a camera on her new DSi that she got for her birthday so she had a good time taking pictures of everyone. One of the leaders brought her 8 month-old baby, Malia, who Jessica just loved! The ladies and girls left after about an hour and Jess was in a lot of pain. She said her head and stomach hurt. I wasn't able to get her to bed until around 4:00am due to her pain and when she woke up the next day (1:30pm) she had such a bad migraine. I gave her tylenol and morphine, turned out the lights in her room, turned off her tv and made her have a nap. After sleeping a couple of hours, that usually does the trick. Not this time. By 4:00pm her tummy was hurting even worse and she threw up - a lot. Poor thing can't even sit up by herself during this horrible process so I have to try to sit by her and hold her up. I gave her a pill for nausea, more tylenol and morphine. After awhile she was able to go back to sleep and slept until close to 8:00pm. I didn't know what I should do so I woke her up and tried to get her to take in some fluids. She had to go potty and it was diarrhea. She was able to keep more fluids down, she perked up and ate some soup too. As I was getting her into bed at about 3:00am, her stomach started growling and I had to fix her more soup and crackers. She finally got to bed at about 4:30am. I was beat! I hadn't slept much during the day from worry and also taking care of her. I was hoping that she would be all better by the next day. - wrong!

The next day, Thurs, she woke up again with horrible tummy ache and head ache at 1:30pm. Again she had a nap after meds but this time I got her up at about 4:00pm. She was feeling better, and even smiled and laughed some. Karl was out of town most of the week but got home in the late afternoon and Jess was so happy to see him! Unfortunately twice tonight I sat with her in the bathroom while she tried to go poop - practically doubled over in pain and extremely blue and short of breath just trying to push. I thought she was constipated but no... it was runny and a strange color. She could be having another Ischemia attack or a bowel obstruction. Each time I help her in the bathroom (which is every time she goes) I look for blood. A very bad sign for her. The throwing up and diarrhea are both signs of Ischemia. I'm blaming it on the migraine she had but I can't be certain. She was just sick a few weeks ago with this same thing except it was worse last time. (Although I just don't know how she is going to feel tomorrow). Yesterday she was so sick that I started to have an anxiety attack. I just kept praying that she wouldn't die while Karl was out of town. Things are pretty tough over here a lot of the time.

Jess actually laughed and smiled a bit tonight and was able to eat some soup... but then she had the bowel thing after that. She was crying and asking "why me?" I got her calmed down and told her she needed to not cry but to save her energy to push when she needs to. I don't know why her. Sometimes I feel she has been through far more than anybody ever should and it keeps going and going.

The most amazing thing to me is how she keeps trying to be happy. She tries to keep herself busy to keep her mind off her pain. She amazes me. We talk a lot about death, what it is like, what her cousin, Marcus is doing... she dreams of Marcus every night and they go to Disneyland together. In the last few weeks she has told me that before going to Disney they sit on Marcus's bed and talk. Then they go and check on his parents and his brothers. Once they know everyone in Marcus's family is ok, they leave to go to Disneyland. Jessica told me the other day that when she is in heaven she will check on me every night before going to Disneyland with Marcus. I give her a hug to give to Marcus every night and every day she gives me a hug from him. She is no longer terrified of dying like she was 5 years ago when she had the lung bleeds. Of course I dare the bravest person to NOT be panicky when they are coughing up blood - choking and trying to catch their breath but can't. It is a horrible experience. So we are extremely grateful that she no longer deals with that. We are amazed that she stopped having lung bleeds. (Kudos to Hospice for helping us start the morphine therapy!) Jess has come a long way since then - we all have.

A dear, sweet online friend of mine just recently found out that her husband has cancer. This amazing friend has a lot of cancer in her family and watched her sister fight it many times throughout her life before passing away.... and she also cared for her mother while she died from cancer quite a few years ago. My friend is feeling deflated and kind of like God hates her. Well, who can blame her? I started looking for something that might help her (and myself!) and came upon this talk given by one of our LDS leaders. It's called: "God Loves and Helps All of His Children" Here are some passages from the talk:

"An... essential way to receive God's help is through prayer. We are commanded to pray to God, our Father, in the name of Jesus Christ. The admonition is, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened." ( Matthew 7:7-8) Heavenly Father answers all sincere prayers.

As the Lord's prophet, President Monson counsels: "At times there appears to be no light at the tunnel's end-no dawn to break the night's darkness. . We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone. If you find yourself in such a situation, I plead with you to turn to our Heavenly Father in faith. He will lift you and guide you. He will not always take your afflictions from you, but He will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face."

I remember standing over Jessica's hospital bed when she was 3 years old and wondering if she would survive the day... watching her little body in a coma, having seizures, hemorrhaging and fighting a blood infection. We were told by several specialists that she was in BAD shape and most likely would not survive the day. The only person Karl and I could turn to was God. He was in complete control. The doctors didn't know how to help her. Jessica didn't even seem to be inside her body at that time. She didn't look like herself in a coma. We had seen the tubes and wires everywhere when she had her first surgery (at the age of 5 months old) and we knew what she would look like post-surgery... but this was 4 days post surgery and all these complications were making us face the fact that she was indeed dying. It was completely up to the Lord. Our bishop met us at the hospital and counseled us, prayed with us and even cried with us. Finally when both Karl and I could completely and with all our hearts say "Thy will be done"... she started to turn around. The doctors were doing blood tests every 15 minutes and had an OR waiting for Jessica. The cardio-thoracic surgeon told us that they wouldn't take her to the OR until absolutely necessary. He was certain that if he opened her up to find the bleeder then it would cause all her scar tissue to start bleeding again and she would not survive the surgery. (During Jessica's heart surgery 4 days prior, her shunt which takes blood to the lungs was accidentally cut and she bled out for 8 minutes while they finished opening and placed her on the bypass machine. After that all her scar tissue (which was excessive) and other tissue hemorrhaged for quite some time and even after closing they had to reopen to stop some bleeders.) Jessica had been in critical condition and was finally improving when she started hemorrhaging again, having seizures (which was later found out was caused by a massive stroke affecting 5 areas of her brain) and they found the blood infection. Any one of those things could be life-threatening but all of them together.... certainly she would die. You can see the surgeon's hesitancy to perform another surgery! He kept telling us that the numbers didn't match. Jess had lost 1/3 of her blood volume in 4 hours and yet her blood pressure was becoming more stable and her blood count was ok. After about 4 - 5 hours the surgeon told us that he was not going to have to do surgery. He said, "A power far greater than ours saved your daughter today. We did nothing but stand here and watch a miracle."

About a week later Jessica was able to breathe on her own and came off the ventilator. She was blind and paralyzed from the stroke. She was so weak and couldn't take comfort in my holding her. After a difficult day at the hospital I took to my knees at home and prayed to the Lord to help her be comforted. I told Him that it wasn't fair for her to have to suffer through this alone. I have taken care of her through many illnesses, surgeries, therapy, procedures and through all this Jessica at least took comfort in my holding her. That day Jess was extremely agitated and seemed to be afraid of everything. Her vision seemed to be improving a tiny bit but only enough to scare her. I could only imagine this beautiful little girl who was attached to all the wires and tubes being held by someone who sounded like Mom, felt like Mom, smelled like Mom but looked like a monster! She even seemed to be afraid of her own hand and she practically threw herself off of the bed trying to get away from it. So with all my heart to told the Lord that no matter what, I would care for this precious child. I've taken care of her through it all and I'll take care of her blind for however long she is here... just please - help her to be comforted, I prayed. A wave of warmth and calmness engulfed my body and I ended my prayer in tears. I meditated for a few minutes and then called the hospital. The nurse told me that Jessica seemed to have calmed down in the last 10 minutes or so. I had called my sister before I had prayed and she came over and sat and talked with me. I had wrenched my back trying to hold Jess and comfort her for 8 hours that day and the nurse insisted that I stay home and get some rest. Karl was new at his job and had already used any sick time he had so he was working and then had to come home and sleep. He wouldn't be able to visit Jessica at the hospital until after work the next day. So I went went to bed after calling the hospital again and they said she had not only been calm but had even eaten something! I woke up in the middle of the night and called the hospital again. They said that she was doing so well they were considering moving her out of the ICU in the morning! Several of the tubes and wires had come out since my last phone call! The next morning she was in the process of being moved out of the ICU. She was in a double occupancy room and in the 2nd "bed" (crib). I didn't say anything as I walked into her room. She immediately turned her head and cried out, "Momma!" SHE COULD SEE ME! I ran across the room, picked her up and hugged her as we both cried. I stayed the whole day with her. She was still quite sick but she could see and was comforted by me being with her! When Karl arrived at the hospital she could recognize her Daddy, too. She still had a lot of problems with her vision but it was slowly returning. When she went home - 3 weeks post surgery - she still was mostly paralyzed on her left side, her vision was still iffy, her speech was no where near it used to be and she couldn't sit or crawl - much less walk. We had a LOT of therapy and pain to go through still but she did regain most of what was lost.

I have seen miracles and sometimes wonder why I am so privileged to have seen these in my own life and in my child's life. I know that sometimes the miracle isn't in the healing - but in the relief of the pain - the return to our loving Father above.

I am trying to read more uplifting literature and help myself and my family to more readily deal with the trials in our lives. I know God doesn't hate us... He loves us and wants to help us through our trials. We are here to learn and draw near unto Him. I want to feel the comfort of the Lord and help Jessica through her difficult times as well. (who just got up out of bed yet again at 5:20am)

I'm thankful for all of you - family and friends who help us through the difficult times and celebrate with us through the good ones. Please pray that Jessica's pain leaves her body so that she can sleep (at night, lol) and enjoy spending time with her brothers while they are home for the summer break. Pray that I get some sleep and 5 minutes to myself. lol

Monday, May 11, 2009

I almost forgot....

to update you about the horrible flu we had. It wasn't the SWINE flu .... althought my kids do act like little piggies at times!

Jessica, Austin and Karl are all feeling MUCH better. Karl is still coughing some but at least is able to sleep and work. Austin has been back to school for about a week and is catching up on his school work. Justen is coughing a little here and there but I think it's mostly allergies at this point... in fact, I wouldn't be surprised is Karl's cough is allergy related too. Jessica is still on prednisone but I'm going to call her pulmonary doctor today and see about weaning her off of it. It is making her puffy, ornery and she REALLY can't sleep at night. Fortunately Brandon and I didn't get the cough. My voice was raspy and my sinuses are still giving me some trouble (not extreme) but I think it's allergy related too. I have these same problems every fall and every spring. Lucky me!

I am so thankful everyone in my home that was sick is getting better. I'm exhausted from taking care of everyone while they were sick. I think I need a vacation. My older brother and his family are going to Hawaii later this month. I wonder if I can fit into a VERY LARGE suitcase and go with them? haha!

Thank you for checking in on us and I'm sorry I didn't update sooner. It's been a rough few weeks.

((hugs)) to you all!

Happy Mother's Day

A little late but... I had a nice mother's day. My sister, Alice, and my mom cooked a delicious ham dinner for us yesterday. My brother, Stuart and his two kids joined us - and of course Alice's hubby and kids were there as was my dad. Stuart's wife, Clarissa, didn't make it out here because she is 58 months pregnant and too uncomfortable to make the 40 minute drive. Well, she's not quite 58 months but she sure feels like it! Send good vibes her way that the baby (Sophia) will come soon - so we can see her and hold her! hehe!

We had such a nice time visiting and eating a wonderful meal. Unfortunately Jessica got tired and felt sickly on the way home. She had an emotional night and didn't get to bed until after 3:00am. I'm supposed to take her to our "Tu Nidito" group meeting this evening but I seriously doubt that she's up for it... and neither am I. It's almost 6:00am and I haven't been to bed yet.

But..... I am still so happy to have spent a nice day with my family. I also got to chat online with my older brother, Brian and my younger sister, Karen. I miss them and their families! Somehow I didn't get to talk to John when he called to talk to MY mom. How rude! lol

I forgot to take my camera but maybe I'll be able to steal my mom's SD card for a few minutes and get the pictures she took.

I hope you all had a great day and an awesome week.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

6 Months

I can't believe it's been 6 months since Marcus earned his wings. It feels like just yesterday since the pain is still so raw - in fact, most of the time my heart can't believe that he is really gone. It seems like just yesterday that he was here at my house, playing video games with my kids and hanging out with Jessica.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of Marcus and Jessica - the last time we would see Marcus while on this earth.

The following is a video that my sister, Karen, made to help with Childhood Brain Tumor Awareness. I've posted it below. *warning - you'll need a tissue!*

Photo and video editing at

I'm sure that to Karen, and her family, each day without him feels like an eternity.
My heart and prayers go out to her and her family. We love you so much!

Here is Marcus's Make A Wish trip story;
posted on the Make A Wish Foundation of Utah's blog.

Marcus, we love you and miss you terribly.
Thank you for watching over us - especially Jessica.
We are so proud of you too.

Love you forever,
Aunt Nancy

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Jessica is still very sick....

I spoke to Jessica's pulmonary doctor this afternoon and am waiting for her to call in a prescription for prednisone and an antibiotic. The doctor said she wasn't able to call it in right then but said she would a little later - I have to say I'm not impressed that it's not 2 hours later and still no call. I've tried calling her back and only received her voice mail but I've left 2 messages... one because I found some prednisone here at the house and just need to know how much to give Jess and two... because I had realized that our dumb pharmacy closes really early on Saturdays and would need the doc to call in the script for the antibiotic to a different pharmacy.

Jessica is wheezing more heavily now and I am getting nervous. I HATE this feeling. Her breathing is different than yesterday morning... it's not as heavy but there is noise in between each inhale and exhale. I'm sure she will improve once she starts the prednisone - at least I hope she will.

Austin is very worried about her too. Of course I didn't tell him how worried I am but I did acknowledge his concern. She has only been "this" sick for two days. She has been coughing for a few days - although Jess said she thought it has been 3 weeks. It feels like 3 weeks!

So.... still no call from the pulmonary doc. She has usually been on top of this kind of thing so I'm shocked she hasn't called me back. I found Jessica's "Asthma action plan" and saw that she can take the Xopenex breathing treatments every 2 hours and the starting amount of Prednisone is 40mg. I do remember giving her that much so I went ahead and gave it to her at 7:00pm. I can't wait all night and I don't want to be having to give it to her in the middle of the night every night.

I had Karl and Brandon move the recliner into Jessica's bedroom. It's a pain to move but I know I'm going to be in there most of the night tonight so I need to be able to get some rest while I'm in there. I remember when we bought that chair - 4 1/2 years ago - it was when Jessica was having lung bleeds and was placed into home hospice. We put it into her room so that I could be there with her and I was - practically 24/7 for months until we started the morphine therapy and the lung bleeds ceased.

Jessica says that her tummy really hurts and that it felt better when she threw up this morning. She wishes that she could throw up and get it over with so that her tummy can feel better. She has been sipping on soda all day and I've been able to get her to eat a tiny bit of jello. She still isn''t taking in very much fluids tho and she says her head aches... she hasn't had her light on at all today except for when I needed to plug in her pulse-ox. She said that her heart felt like it was pounding really hard but when I checked it, she had a good steady beat, pulse was 78 and her O2 level was at 74%. All that is normal for her. I'm glad she wasn't having any PVCs.

I'm giving her morphine for pain but am worried about which of her other 4953847274 meds she should take and which she shouldn't. Should I give her the diurretics? She isn't taking in very much fluids and I don't want her to get dehydrated? She did not get them yesterday for this very reason but do I continue to hold them? Should I give her the Miralax? I don't want her to get constipated and risk her getting a bowel obstruction but again, I don't want her to get dehydrated. She isn't able to swallow her Carafate so she hasn't taken that for 2 days (it's supposed to be taken 3 times a day on an empty stomach to treat gastritis and ulcers). I have given her the Digoxin and Toporol for her heart function and 1/2 of her Xifaxan for her stomach.

Karl is sitting with her right now. I'm trying to decide whether to shower right now or not... chances are that as soon as I become unavailable, the doctor will call. I have several questions for her (see paragraph above) and I want to be able to talk to her myself. Or I could run to the local stop-n-rob for a diet coke... but then again, I'm sure to miss the call.

My mom called and we chatted for a little while. Then Karl realized that Brandon's Sunday clothese were still dirty and we got the laundry started. Jess needed to go to the bathroom and lashed out at both Karl and I twice. She practically snarled as she yelled. She's gotta be in a lot of pain to act like that - - and of course she is on Prednisone. Gosh I hate that stuff!

Still no call from the pulmonary doctor. *ggrrr*

Friday, April 24, 2009

Jessica is very sick - more prayers please.

Jessica has a fever today and is struggling to breathe. In fact, her breathing scared Austin. :*( She is sleeping and I'm keeping a close eye on her - giving her tylenol for the fever, etc.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

Quick update - prayer request

Jessica is not doing very well right now. Her pain level was WAAAAYYY up yesterday, even after a little extra morphine. She has been coughing and is congested. She is needed back-to-back breathing treatments at times. It is so hard to see her in so much pain. She has mentioned quite a few times lately that she wishes she could be in Heaven with Marcus so she could be out of her painful body. I keep telling her that it's OK to feel that way and that when the time comes, it's OK for her to go. We also talk about "enduring to the end". *sigh* So many mixed emotions here. I love every single hug and kiss and smile she gives me (and there are plenty every day!) and I know I am going to miss that.... but I don't want her to be in pain anymore. She's my baby and I love her so much. I would gladly trade places with her if I could but of course I can't. She has a special mission to do and only she can do it. I have been by her side every step of the way and I'm not giving up now... I just wish there were more I could do.

We appreciate all the prayers and love that you share with us. It's so good to know that we are not going through this alone.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter - my thoughts today

I am so thankful for this day - a day to remember that not only did Christ die on the cross for us, but that he gave us the gift of resurrection. One day my daughter will have a body that will not fail her. She will run and play and dance to her heart's content. She won't need oxygen or even glasses (but she says she may want to wear glasses just to look pretty! lol). Of course I can't help but think of my dear nephew, Marcus, too. Jessica dreams of him every night and misses him so much. She is longing to spend time with him and be free of her daily pains.... but she still loves life and her family. We spent time with our Jensen grandparents last night and it was wonderful having them here. I'll post more about that later - including a few pictures.

The following is a wonderful slide show called Reflections of Christ. I felt it was perfect for this day: Easter. The promise of new life. I love this day.

May you find comfort and peace in the message Christ brings. I sure do.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jessica's GI appointment: caution... poop mentioned

Jessica had an appointment with the peds GI doctor this last week. Jessica's retired Peds Cardiologist, Dr. D., (who diagnosed her at the age of 2 weeks and has been her PC for 20 years!) came to the appointment with us! He had told me before he retired to keep in touch and let him know of any appointments and that he would see if he could meet us there. We had heard that he still goes to the clinic where we see both the GI doc and the PC (peds cardiology) and helps them out. I emailed Dr. D and he met us there. He knows the GI doctor and has worked with him for years.

I had noticed the week before that she has gained a few pounds and thought it could be congestive heart failure and retaining fluid. The Peds Cardiologist (PC) checked her for edema and it wasn't too terribly bad - so no increase on the meds for it. Well, I think we figured out where she's retaining it... in her belly. Even though she is on Miralax (1 1/2 - 2 doses per day), she is still not emptying her bowels completely. The GI doctor wants us to flush her out. He originally said that with children he has them take a dose of miralax every 20 minutes for 8 doses!!! I just sat there dumbfounded. That's a heckuvalot of Miralax! The GI doc told us that it's the safest way for kids and that it works. He uses this method all the time with children.

Jessica's main problems at this time are twofold: one) she doesn't have the energy to push out the poop (see, I told you it was mentioned!) and b) her bowels are sluggish due to the Ischemia. Even though I make sure that she isn't constipated, it's still really hard for her to "go". Several times a day I rub her tummy to help her pass the stools a little easier.

After all was said and done, it was decided that since Jess has fluid issues and can become dehydrated easily, that we will do 4 doses one day and 4 doses the next. Only clear fluids during that time and a soft dinner the night in between the 2 days. It's going to be a really hard thing for Jess to go through... and me too. I'll have to be with her the whole time. She always needs my help with potty stuff and won't let anyone else in there with her... not even her favorite nurses. I'm also going to have to keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn't get too dehydrated. Jess has been eating more lately - which is good - only it's going to make it harder for her to go through this cleansing process. The GI doc said that we didn't need to do it right away but soon - probably when my hubby would be here to help me out. I am NOT looking forward to this but the GI doc and the PC both said that Jess will feel MUCH better once it's done.

I've read online that ischemia of the bowels can greatly increase the chances of developing an obstruction. The GI doctor said that the cleansing will really help to prevent that. He also told me what the symptoms are of an obstruction. I am just praying she doesn't have to go through that!

I'm not sure why she has to go through all this bowel stuff on top of her heart problems. It just doesn't seem fair. It's becoming more and more of a chore for her to just go poop. I've been committed to helping her the last 20 years, I'm sure not going to stop now! I'm just concerned that I'm soon going to have to BE committed! haha!

The visit went pretty well though and Jess seemed cheerful. She was so excited to see Dr. D again and she loves the GI doc. I like his compliments... he said I don't look old enough to have a 20 yr old daughter so I think we'll keep him. While we were at the clinic Jess wanted to go over to the cardiology side of the building so we did. We saw the PC nurse whom we've known since Jess was a baby.... she had been at the out-reach clinics the last two times we had come into the office so it had been awhile since we had seen her. Dr. K (who did Jessica's last cardiac cath 5 yrs ago) was there and chatted with us and then some of our friends came around the corner! I knew they had an upcoming appointment but didn't know what day it was for. (OK, I had the email but had only had time to skim it and didn't pay attention to the day nor time). So we got to see them too!

After the appointment we went to IHOP for lunch with our dear friend, Susan from Tu Nidito. Susan and her husband, Randy, are volunteers at Tu Nidito and we've known them for about 9 years! They are so sweet! Anyway, we like to go to lunch with Susan every couple of months or so but with Jessica's health declining and the germs out there during the winter, it's been quite some time since we've gone out. Susan has brought us lunch from McDonald's but it's just not the same. We had a nice lunch, came back home and had naps. We are still trying to recover from our outing! Jess gets over-tired and then the pain sets in. She got me up early this morning and I'm still trying to get back to bed. I keep getting phone calls which is delaying my going back to bed.

Our computer had a virus (OK... 200+ viruses!) and was in the shop for almost 3 weeks! After I got it back, I couldn't find any of my old emails. We took it back to the shop this morning and they can't find them either. The main reason I need the emails is because I have saved some CM orders on them and didn't print them up and I need them for taxes! I should have printed them all up and put them in a safe place... I know. I'm also frustrated that I accidentally washed my cell phone so it died, and I lost all my saved phone numbers on there. I think I'm getting my butt kicked here. Here's the score:

concentration: 0
sleep: 0
pain: 100
confusion: 75 (I'm being easy on myself here. lol)
feeling like a dufus: 50

haha... ok, I'm just being silly. I'm not really as "down" as I seem, I just feel overwhelmed a bit.

My in-laws are bringing dinner to us this evening. We usually like to go to their house the day before Easter and have a little Easter egg hunt (plastic eggs filled with candy that grandma puts together and grandpa hides)... but since it is stormy and Jess just doesn't have the stamina to walk around much trying to find the eggs, they are going to bring dinner to us and spend some time here. Jessica LOVES looking for and finding the eggs but has felt bad because she gets so short of breath and feels horrible when trying to do so. We have even brought the egg hunt into the house and hid the eggs in just one room and it's too much for her. Grandma is putting a little basket together for her and will tell her that the Easter Bunny knows how hard it is for her to find the eggs so he left the basket at her house. I'm sure she'll have plenty of candy for the boys too. They don't care about finding the eggs anymore - just the candy. LOL My MIL realizes how tired I am and doesn't want me to have to cook. I'm so glad they are bringing dinner and are going to spend time here. They live about 20 - 25 minutes from us and I hope they drive safely in this rain.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and a Happy Easter. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Updated on Jess, me and Computer viruses!

I took Jessica to the Peds Cardiologist on Tuesday and the visit went pretty well. We were there quite awhile for tests and we still have to go to the lab for blood work. They did an EKG and an Echo. Everything looks about the same as last year: her right ventricle is very large, aortic valve is leaking between mild-moderate range, shunt is open and working. We discussed her pain and the fact that she is in pain 99% of the time... sometimes her level is up to 9 1/2 (according to Jess) and she cries when it's that high. The pain sometimes wakes her up during her sleep and then she can't get back to sleep for awhile. The Cardiologist reminded me of his conversation with the GI doc and since there isn't anything they can do to prevent the pain, he recommended sending us to a pain clinic. I'm hoping and praying that they will be able to make her more comfortable and increase her quality of life. I haven't had a chance to call them and set up an appointment yet but I hope to do that in the next couple of days.

We had to cancel an appointment with the psychiatrist yesterday since Jess must have gotten overtired from the visit to the Peds cardiologist and didn't get to bed until after 3:00am. She then woke up a couple of hours later in pain and didn't get back to bed until 8:00am. I didn't get to bed at all that night so I had to try to sleep when she did during the day and then after her aid came in the afternoon, I had to take another nap. I ran out of one of my own pain meds and have been in such pain. Fortunately Karl was able to pick it up at the pharmacy so I'm taking it again.

I saw my primary care doctor for my fibromyalgia and he sent me for blood work, etc. I haven't heard back from him yet but I'm supposed to schedule my annual female stuff. yuck! But it needs to be done. My doctor told me that two of the best things to treat fibromyalgia is sleep and exercise and I'm not getting much of either. It's frustrating to not be able to be on a regular schedule but there's not a whole lot I can do about that. Jessica and I were talking about feeling left out. She feels left out a lot since she can't go and do what her brothers can do and they rarely play with her. They are boys and not very interested in girly things. Good thing that her home health aids can play Barbies and Pokemon games with her. She really enjoys that. Anyway, back to my story, I was telling Jess that I felt left out a lot when I was in High School since my mom was sick for a long period of time. I took care of my younger siblings after getting home from school and I had to cook dinner, bathe my youngest brother who was 2 yrs old at the time and get him to bed... after that I had to stay up to do homework and then get up early the next morning to go to band and school and start all over again. My youngest brother even called me "Mom". My friends were out having parties and hanging out while I was home being a mom. Jess asked me if I ever wondered if I would get married and be a mom and I said sure... ever since I was a little girl I wanted to get married and have a family. She asked me, "You probably didn't know that you would have a daughter with heart problems, did you?" I responded that if I had my choice of a bunch of babies, I would have chosen her. I'm so glad that I'm her mom. Jess hugged me and I asked her if she would choose me for her mom and as we were embraced, she nodded yes. I told her that we were supposed to be together as a family and we will be a family forever. She then started talking about what a great dad she has and brothers, grandparents, etc. She just loves everyone so much.

Well, it's 3:30am and Jess hasn't gotten up since I put her to bed about an hour ago so she must be asleep.... and I'm about to fall asleep here at my laptop. Oh, speaking of computers... our family computer has been down for over 2 weeks now. It crashed and I found a virus but couldn't get rid of it. Karl took it to a place we had worked with before and they found over 200 viruses! Austin has recently downloaded a game online (without permission) and we wonder if that was one of the major viruses. They guy at the shop had to completely wipe the hard drive clean and reinstall windows, etc. He said that one of the viruses had disabled the Windows updates so we started getting more and more viruses. WHO DOES THIS? The last virus had a window pop up that looked exactly like Windows and it wouldn't allow you to start windows without entering your credit card number... and it said that it wouldn't be charged. We knew that was a scam and after finally being able to access our AVG anti-virus, we found multiple Trojan viruses but we couldn't get rid of them. I hope other people are smart enough to not put in their credit card numbers when that thing pops up!

As if we don't have enough going on, I'm struggling with dental and medical insurances denying payments for things they should have covered. OY! What a pain.

Thanks for stopping by..... and if you get a chance, hop on over to my craft blog: FancyCrafty{Me} where I''ve uploaded a few new cards. If it weren't for my crafts, I'd be in a loony bin, so thank goodness I have that!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jessica and I have fun in the craft room

I am re-posting this from Jessica blog, Jessie's Favorites.

We love making fun things in my craft room. Jessie decided to make a card for her grandma. I had received a fun stamp in the mail and I stamped the image for Jessica. She then colored it with her markers. Today she decided to use one of my punches and some of my fun paper to make a card with the image that she had colored.

Here she is putting some brads on the card.

Securing the brads onto the back of the card.

Somebody is having fun!

Here is the card so far.

All done! Time to relax.

Now isn't that the most beautiful card you've ever seen? Of course it is!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Random photos

Grandma Taylor and Jessica hangin' out in the new craft room. Jessie has her own corner for her Barbie castle. What fun! Also, notice the necklace that Grandma is wearing? Jessica made it for her! Jess sure loves her grandparents.

Brandon having a nap. He really was asleep! Don't worry, I woke him up and made him turn over... that is after Austin and I had a good laugh.

Charlie enjoying the sunshine coming in from the bay window in the craft room. Who says cats don't like birds? Charlie is cuddling with one in this picture - just look at his tail!

Charlie, are you all nice and warm laying on the heating pad?

Too bad it's not even plugged in!

Notice how Charlie matches the blue heating pad. He is such a pretty color - Russian Blue. Too bad he's not very smart. LOL

I hope you enjoyed these random pictures. I'll be back soon to post more!

Snow on Justen's Birthday: 2-10-09

Justen went out to play in the snow at 2:am on his 23rd birthday! It rarely snows here so it was a real treat!

Here's another picture of him in the snow. I can't believe my baby is this old! Although he has quite a bad case of dandruff. LOL

Graffiti on my car in the snow! I wonder who did it?

The snow stuck to the ground for a little while but it was gone by noon.

Jess really wanted to go out into the snow but I'm a mean Mom and wouldn't let her. It was late and I really wanted to get her to bed... not out in the snow and cold!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Life's a Bit Rough Around Here

But that's the way it goes. Miss Jess is in a lot of pain every day. The first thing she says to me when she wakes me us is: "Hi Mom. I feel HORRIBLE! and flops down onto my bed." I help her in the bathroom, make sure she's taken her carafate (meds for her tummy - has to be taken on an empty stomach) and give her some morphine. When it's time for her to eat, sometimes all she can eat is jello - or even just 1/2 of a small jello cup. She will drink some soda though. The last few days she has wanted a "Ham & Cheese Hot Pocket" so that's what she's had. She has eaten the whole thing or only left a bite or two. I'm so glad we have found something her tummy can handle. That is until she gets tired of them. She eats off and on during the day and will have a few snacks at night. I have to make sure she eats enough of her tummy will be in extra pain later. She gets morphine several times a day.... and she gets tylenol too.

Her sleeping is less than desirable... even if she gets to bed by 2:00am (which is early) then she will sometimes get up just a few hours later in pain and needing morphine and sometimes needing to eat. Sometimes she will go right back to sleep and sometimes she is up for several hours. Other times she may get very emotional and not even get to sleep until long after sunrise or even after Karl and the boys get off for the day - maybe 9:30am. It's getting to be hard work just to feed her and help her get her rest. I sometimes feel like I'm caring for a 130 lb, 20 yr old newborn with the schedule she has.

On top of all this my fibromyalgia has been acting up - as it usually does this time of year - and my poor body just can't figure out WHEN or HOW to sleep. I can't take a sleep aid because I have to be able to help her if/when she gets up. She takes enough sleep aids to put both of us out for 12 hours but that's another story. LOL!! Sometimes I stay up even after she is in bed because it is the only time I get where nobody is demanding my attention or needs something. I know it's not a good idea to do it too often - my body is really wanting to sleep right now, for instance - so I had better hurry.

The big news that I've been dreading posting is that Jessica really does have Ischemia of the bowels - both the GI doctor and the peds cardiologist checked out her CT scan. So in layman's terms... the artery that takes the blood to the gut is narrowing and she is getting less and less blood flow to that area. On top of that, due to her sturcture of her heart, she gets much less oxygen in her blood than normal so that's double trouble. Ischemia can cause pain (severe pain), diarrhea, constipation, an obstruction, necrosis and death. The only way to fix it is to do surgery and replace that section of the artery.... except that with Jess, that's not possible. Her whole artery system is going bad. Her whole bowel system is going too... She has to have 1 1/2 - 2 times the normal adult amount of Miralax just to keep her pooping every day. The only treatment possible is to give her morphine for the pain and more Miralax to keep her "going". The things we need to look for is vomiting and blood in her stools. These are signs that her intestines are necrotic and she probably won't survive more than a month or two. The GI doctor said that if that happens then we need to make the decision as to whether to take her to the hospital, call hospice or both. WHAT? I can't imagine her hanging on for a full 2 months while vomiting, etc. Karl and I have talked about it and if it comes to that point, we may have to discontinue all treatment except for pain relief. That would mean taking her off her heart meds too. Her previous pediatrician told me recently (when I told him about Jessica having 10,000 PVCs (arrhythmias) every day and her risk of ventricular tachycardia - he said, "that would be the best way for her to go, really"). He didn't say it in a mean way, he had been through all of Jessica's ups and downs including strokes, lung bleeds, etc. He meant it in a positive way. V-Tach would be fast. The GI thing..... not so much.

We have been chocking on this news. It just seems we get over on hurdle and we are faced with yet another way for her to die. I just don't want my baby to suffer. She has already been through so much... I just want her to be happy.

On the other hand, Jessica has been spending a LOT of time with Marcus. They go to Disneyland every night and ride all the best rides, have races as to who can eat their cotton candy the fastest and laugh and laugh. They even get to ride on Jessica's ride that she invented called "Genie's Magical Lamp". Several years ago Jess came up with the idea for this ride and has wanted Disney to make it. Every day Jessica gives me a hug from Marcus and I tell her to give him a hug back from me. She told me that every time she dreams about Marcus, it makes her sadness that he died go away a little bit more. I told her that I think it's awesome that she gets to spend so much time with him.... much more time than when he was alive. I also told her that Marcus is telling her that he is OK. {She has told me that the first few times she dreamed about him, she was crying and he asked her, "why are you crying?". She would tell him that it's because he died and that she missed him. He would then give her a big hug and smile and tell her that he was OK and that she didn't need to worry about him.} We talk about how he is having fun in heaven and he will be there for her when it's her turn to go home. Jess said that she isn't afraid at all when she is with Marcus. She even goes on the biggest roller coasters with him and doesn't get scared when in real life she is very afraid of heights and hates going on rides. I asked her if she has her oxygen on while going on the rides with Marcus and she said, "No! And I don't need my glasses either". She even said that she RUNS to him and they give each other a big hug. She says that everyone at Disney know her and Marcus and they let them go to the front of the lines and they don't have to pay either. LOL (it's just like Jess to be the center of attention and the center of every one's hearts!) Karen (my sister - Marcus's mom) told me that Marcus always was a daredevil and he loved to go on roller coasters so I'm sure he is enjoying his trips to Disneyland with Jessica too. Marcus missed his only opportunity to go to Disney when his band went but he was too sick with his cancer to go. Jess will never get to go to Disney - at least not while she's awake! LOL She is really glad for these dreams. I am so thankful for her dreams too. I miss Marcus. I miss Karen and her family too.

I am so grateful for my family and my friends. I can't get through this without you. It's been difficult lately with my being sickly and not being able to get out much. Seriously - sometimes I walk out to get the mail just so I can say that I went outside that day. I really need to try to go for walks... even short ones to try to get my mojo back. I have been making some cards and I did get to go to a card class last week. I am completely enjoying my new craft room that my dear, sweet husband built for me. I need to get it cleaned up a bit and post some pictures. You will be drooling! LOL

Thank you so much for stopping by and if you get a chance, head on over to my craft blog, FancyCrafty{Me} and oooohhh... and ahhhh... over my cards. :-P

Of course any prayers would be gladly accepted and appreciated.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Remembering Bethany

It was four years ago today that Bethany lost her battle to CHD (congenital heart defects). She was diagnosed in utero and her father, Dan English, went online to find information and support. That's how I came to know them.. (Dan, Jo & kids)... there's no way we'd meet in person since Dan & co live in the UK. At any rate, we became good friends even when Bethany was called "Bump". After many ups and downs she went home and flourished. She was like my Jessica... she would get "blue" and have to sit down after a short walk and her smiling lips would turn purple. She truly was an angel here on earth. She earned the nickname "Little Moo". hehe

Sadly, she earned her wings after multiple complications following a very complicated heart surgery. I knew things were turning for the worse and several of my online friends and I were chatting about it. I called the hospital in England and spoke to Dan himself. He knew at that time that she was gone... but her body remained there... barely. My heart broke when he said, "no parent should ever have to bury a child". I don't know if he remembers saying that but it's true. No parent should ever have to bury a child... and yet my sister did it just 4 months ago... and I know eventually I will have to. It's hard...

But what if I had never "met Bethany? Her life truly enriched mine. I remember many of her antics... she wore her mum's undies on her head and danced around, tried drinking from the dog's bowl, climbed on her older brother, Jaysen all the time and of course had her daddy's and mum's heart strings tied around her finger. She went through so much in her little lifetime and would always bounce back. She truly reminded me of Jessica. Only the last time she couldn't bounce back. She had other things to do. She is greatly missed but she still touches many hearts around the world.

Bethy, you are loved and I know that some day I'll get to meet you in person. Until then, dance all you want - you won't get blue!

Monday, January 19, 2009

We survived the holidays!!!! Prayers for Jessica's tummy

We had an enjoyable Christmas but Jessica and I got waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy over tired. We are still trying to recover. LOL!

I am working on a nice post about our Christmas activities - with pictures! But it's so late that it's early! I had better get to bed.

But first a prayer request: Jessica is having a lot of tummy pain so pray for her to feel better. The Ischemia of the bowels can be very painful as well as the gastritis and ulcers that she has. I feel so helpless when she has bad days - which has been the last 3 days. We all appreciate all your love, thoughts, and prayers.

Here's a sneak peek of what's to come: