Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Only Possible Word

Joe is doing just great.  It's hard to believe it has only been 2 1/2 short months since his transplant.



We knew from the very beginning that God had His hand over the whole situation.  What I didn't know is how perfect His plan would continue to be.

Right away, Joe started feeling better.  Within DAYS his creatine (toxins) levels were back to normal.  Everything went as well as, if not better than, expected.  We got accustomed to doctors telling us how amazed they were with his progress. And we're not talking about some third-rate operation. This is Mayo Clinic; the BEST in the WORLD for transplants.  Every milestone seemed to be reached earlier than expected.  He was even allowed to come home last month.

When he left, they told him that he would still need to come back periodically for check-ups.  He went back two weeks after being home and then again three weeks after that, which was Thursday.  Once again, all the tests came back with great news.  The new kidney is doing her share of work, and then some.  She has filtered his toxins down to a level equivalent to that of a normal person.  His blood pressure is under control and his water retention is obsolete.  But that's pretty average for any transplant patient.  What continues to astound the doctors is Joe's body's complete acceptance of this foreign kidney.

Our bodies are amazing in that they know automatically when there is a foreign substance.  Our immune system automatically fights this new invader.  In the case of a transplant, we don't want the body to fight the new kidney.  Therein lies the perfect balance of immuno-suppressant medication.  Too much, and Joe will catch every cold, flu, or worse that wisps by on a breeze.  Too little, and his body will reject the kidney.

Immediately following the surgery, the doctors put Joe on three anti-rejection medications.  Through blood tests, they realized quickly that it was overload.  When he was released from the hospital, they took him off one of the medications.  He was taking 14 pills per day for the other two.

As I mentioned, he went down Thursday for a routine check-up.  He has been doing so well, they have now reduced his anti-rejection medication to FOUR pills per day!  From 14 to 4.  In only 2 1/2 months.  In fact, his white blood cell count shows that they are not even fighting the kidney.  All of this is astounding to the doctors.  The only possible word is: miracle. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ode to Autumn: The Sounds of Autumn

There is a certain sound to Autumn.  

It's a mixture of quietling calm, 
as all the summer visitors have left the mountain.  

Autumn usually brings the first snowfall, 
and with it a smothering quietness as all living things hunker down and hole up.  


Yet, Autumn also tends to bring one last flurry of activity as everyone prepares for six months of winter.  

 I hear Joe chopping wood 
and building our wood pile.  

I hear my timer beeping all day long with all the baking; 
the bounty of harvest: zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, apple pies.

I love Autumn.

***Now remember to comment and add your favorite Sounds of Autumn***

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ode to Autumn: The Feel of Autumn

Autumn has a specific feel.  Sometimes you get a whisper of it, and know instantly that Autumn is on the air.

I love crispy mornings.  

I love pleasant afternoons.  

I love cozy blankets.  

I love flannel sheets.  

I love Autumn.

***Now remember to comment and add your favorite Feels of Autumn***

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ode to Autumn: The Sights of Autumn

Is there anything more beautiful to look at than an autumn landscape?  There is something magical in the colors of the season that is so pleasing to the eye.  Here are some of the favorite things I love looking at:

I love golden aspens.  

I love red ferns.  

I love browning oaks.  

I love watching smoke curl up from sleepy chimneys.


I love Autumn.

***Now remember to comment and add your favorite Sights of Autumn***

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ode to Autumn: The Smells of Autumn

There are so many great fragrances of Autumn.  I think that's why all the candle companies make so many candles scented like this season.  

I love the aroma of fresh-baked cookies.  

I love the fragrance of fresh-baked pies.  

I love the smell of dusty leaves.  

I love smelling fresh-cut wood.  

I love Autumn.

***Now remember to comment and add your favorite Smells of Autumn***

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ode to Autumn: The Tastes of Autumn

There is just so much yummy stuff to eat during Autumn.  I mean when you think about it, we have Halloween, Thanksgiving, and we get really close to Christmas.  No wonder animals put on their winter coat.  Ahem, I still have my coat from last winter.  

I love pumpkin spice lattes.  

I love pumpkin spice cookies.  

I love pumpkin ..., well, pumpkin anything.  

I love a bowl of chili with fresh cornbread on the side.  

I love ALL the fixin's of Thanksgiving.  

I love Autumn.


***Now remember to comment and add your favorite Tastes of Autumn***

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ode to Autumn

I love Autumn.  I love all the sights, sounds, tastes about it.  I'm pretty sure you do too.

Starting tomorrow and counting down to the first day of Autumn, I am beginning a series called "Ode to Autumn".  I will share some of my faves but the real fun is if you comment and add your faves of the season.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Random Adventure Day in Greer

You can probably tell from recent posts that we just love spending time together as a family.  We have always enjoyed traveling but couldn't while Joe was sick.  Now that he is feeling so much better, we have been wanting to hike and camp and travel and...........the list just goes on.

We knew we wanted to go on an adventure, but weren't sure where to go.  Actually, those always turn out to be the best trips.  As we were driving past the Greer turn-off, I suggested we try Greer.  Such a good time.

We never even knew this trail was there.
This area was devastated by fire last year.
Some trail markers survived the fire.
Fire licked this sign.
Jack found this skeleton.
New life.
The metal signs survived the fire. Jack wanted to read each one.
A fresh spring in the middle of the hike.
I tried to get a pic of Josh playing in the dirt, but he stood up right before I took the pic.

Jumping across the stream.
Made it!
I was so happy to see all the lush growth after the fire.

Joe playing around with the boys' hat.

Took another hike at Big Lake.  Had to cut that one short due to lightning.

Monday, September 10, 2012

All Aboard!!!!!!!!!!

My boys love trains.  I honestly thought they would have outgrown trains years ago.  But, if you see their face light up when they see a train, you know it's still very special for them.

I recently heard of a railroad park in the Phoenix area.  Seriously?  A railroad park?  I was expecting some old trains, mired in cement.  Um, no.  You HAVE to check out this place.

Standing in the observation tower.
Playing with Thomas in the store.
If you zoom in, I think this cartoon says it all.
The little ice cream shop had a train running around the ceiling.
All aboard!
It was pretty neat to see the engine when we rounded the curve.
Having fun at the playground.
Bank robbers.
I love their paintings.  Made it feel very realistic.
Shotgun!
Very clever painting.
I can almost reach it.
Hiding out.
Have to admit, it was pretty cool down there.
Interesting sculpture in the model train building.
Huge model train museum.
The kids can see right down into the action.
They excitedly told me that they had been there!
How appropriate.
He's still  a little boy.  A very happy, little boy.

where Glory meets my suffering