Here I Am, I’m back, Moving Forward

Ponderings of My Predicaments The Great Yellow Jacket Escape

Hi everyone 🙂

I’m back from the craziness of the past year.  I didn’t mean to be gone this long, but you know how that is:  life has a mind of its own 🙂  As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m posting here to fill you all in on my absence.

Here I am

This time last year I had no idea what the Lord had in mind for the rest of the year. I’d gotten my Christian Planner, Journal, and Craft Fellowship group started back for the new year well. However, just a few months later, I got a call from my landlady’s realtor (her nephew, it turns out).  After living there for eight years (four years with my husband and four years after his death) she decided to sell the house.  We had to move.

March led me to looking high and low for a new house to rent for my son and I in the same school district we had been living in.  I finally gave up and started searching in other school districts.

The search for the house to rent consumed me through March, April, and part of May in addition to packing up a whole house alone without my husband but with all his belongings.  That brought on its own emotional issues…

Then a few friends encouraged me to go to a realty office and see if I could qualify to buy a house.  I really didn’t think it would happen, but partly to satisfy my friends and also to give the Lord a chance to act (should that be His plan) I went to the realty office down the street from my best friend’s house.  I walked in sheepishly and said I’d like to find out if there was any possible way I might qualify to buy a house.

Long story short, I did qualify (a big lesson in letting the Lord have room to do His will here) and after another month of looking for houses to buy and probably driving my realty agent crazy with all my texts and calls,  (and not finding one in my son’s school district), I found the house we now live in and call our own.  It’s in my own childhood school district so I’m more than familiar with the area.

My main concern was my son being in his same school where he knew them and they knew him and his needs.  A huge concern for a child with autism!   However, I wound up being able to keep him at his own school after getting him approved for open enrollment.  That part was great, but it brought a new challenge of its own.

They couldn’t bus him to and from school, so I’d have to drive him.  That’s what I chose to do as it’s his last year of high school. So I drive him to school every day, back home, then back to pick him up again, and back home. Fortunately, it’s nearly all highway so even though it’s on the opposite side of our area, it only takes 15-20 minutes to get there.

Evan graduates High School in May.  He’ll walk with the rest of the typical kids to receive his diploma.  I’m already feeling a combination of pride and bittersweetness (is that a word? 🙂 ).  Proud that Evan has come so so far, and bittersweet that his daddy won’t be there to see our son graduate high school.

To back up a bit, the big move happened (with lots of drama and tumult I will spare you of here) in July.  A few friends, my own church and another area church (which is another story of how the Lord worked big time) both helped us move.  That saved me a lot of money since I didn’t have to hire a moving company. I couldn’t have afforded what I did without the many friends who donated to my Go Fund Me campaign.  I’m so so thankful for that!!

I was sick most of August with a really bad respiratory bug (not Covid) so I didn’t get a whole lot of unpacking done.  I got nearly everything unpacked since then, but definitely not everything organized and put away.  I hope to resolve that over the winter.

September through mid December brought a new health issue that was totally unnecessary to me that waylaid me and the only thing I got done was the absolute essentials at home and taking my son back and forth to school.

A few years ago I developed really bad pain in both of my legs. I was describing it in a facebook post and a dear friend messaged me and told me that had happened to him as well and asked if I was taking a statin medication.  I told him yes, my doctor had just put me on Atorvastatin when it looked like I had borderline high cholesterol.  He said his cardiologist warned him to stop taking it due to his pain as it’s caused a lot of limb pain in some patients. When he stopped, the pain went away.  I stopped taking it and a few weeks later, the pain went away.

Last January (a year ago) I had to see a cardiologist myself and told him about it all and he put me on a very low dose of Pravastatin.  It didn’t bother me at all for months, so I thought it was all ok.

After a few trips to the foot doctor and half a dozen trips for physical therapy,  it dawned on me one day when I was describing my feet pain as “debilitating”.  The same word my friend and I both used to describe the pain.  So I stopped taking the Pravastatin and three weeks later, that pain went away. Apparently, statin drugs are not for me.

The pain was so incredibly bad, it hurt to just stand for a few minutes to change my son.  It would hurt just sitting here watching TV. It really stopped any productivity at all for me till I stopped the Pravastatin.  So the entire fall was really painful for me, so very unproductive. Since x rays and an ultrasound at the foot doctor showed arthritis and a lot of inflammation, I started taking about every supplement I could find for inflammation as well as rubbing organic castor oil on my feet and ankles, and Voltaren: an arthritis gel.  It helped but not enough to manage the kind of pain I was in.

I’m feeling so much better now (aside from bone-on-bone knees). I’m trying to move forward emotionally now that the literal moving has happened.  Especially from December.  My husband and I got married December 1st, his birthday was Christmas Day, then the holidays themselves.  A new living situation without him.

This widow thing is not for the faint of heart, and my heart has been really faint this year.  But the Lord has been so good and has sustained us in so many ways.  I’m working at adjusting my attitude a bit.

Now for me:  Here I Am.  Take me as I am 🙂 For the next chapter of my life, Lord:  here I am. Lead me onward.

My Husband has Cancer Please Pray!

Ponderings of My Predicaments The Great Yellow Jacket Escape

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will remember that I posted about my husband suffering from Sepsis back in December and January.  Then in March he had part of his toe amputated due to MRSA he probably contracted during his hospital or nursing home stay.  Now doctors say he has cancer…

I covet your prayers!!  The enemy is attacking my little family left and right and I need the family of Christ to come together against these attacks once and for all.  I guess I must be doing something right to be attacked so badly, so often.  Our son is 16 now and has autism. Still non-verbal, still my greatest gift and joy next to salvation and eternal life through Christ.  My mom has alzheimers. I suffer from spinal stenosis and deal with back pain regularly.

But this post is about my husband who is suffereing the most, at present.

Greg has been diagnosed with squamous cell cancer. He has a tumor on his neck/head the size of a baseball. You can see it in the photo, though it has grown considerably since I took this photo. –>

He is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday and will be hospitalized 5 days afterwards. They have to operate in two stages. The first 5 hours will be to remove the tumor and any other areas that need it.(There are 3 others smaller areas). Then another five hours for reconstructive surgery where they will take skin from either his chest or thigh to replace the skin that’s removed on his neck.
This will be at the Cleveland Clinic.
Three weeks later he will undergo radiation treatments for about 6 weeks. That will occur in Cleveland.
My small family consists of my husband, our son (who is 16 and autistic, non-verbal) and myself. We are all disabled.
Greg had a kidney transplant in 2011 after which he has to remain on immunosuppressants for the rest of his life. These drugs help his body avoid rejecting the kidney, but they also greatly reduce hiss immune system and makes him more susceptible to other illnesses.
That makes this cancer treatment so much trickier because they have to monitor him closely as they take him off the immunosuppressants did he can heal after surgery, but during that duration he is at risk for kidney failure.
We live an hour and a half drive from Cleveland near Mansfield.

Another issue is that on his way home from an appointment a few days ago, he hit a deer and (probably) totalled our only running vehicle (still waiting to hear back from our insurance company). We have a rental car through tomorrow but his surgery is the next day.
I don’t know how we can afford the rental car after the insurance company stops paying for it. The contract is only through Monday and surgery is Tuesday. I’m praying they will extend the time we can keep the rental car.
There will be a lot of trips to Cleveland and back for my son and I during surgery week, then when radiation begins (3 weeks after surgery) there is up to 6 weeks of getting him to Cleveland daily for that.
The average cancer patient in our area can get radiation here in town, but due to his complex medical situation with his kidney it has to be done there, the doctors tell us, where his specialists are.
My husband suffered sepsis in his knee in December and January, then had part of his toe amputated in March due to MRSA, now cancer…

I asked his surgeon and oncologist why this keeps happening. They explained about the risks the immunosuppresants create. Even though they help him retain his new kidney, they put him at risk for anything else.
Those who know me, know how much I hate doing this… but several people asked me to set up a GoFundMe page, and if you share this, it may help us through this season of trials.

It’s so hard to be humbled in any situation, but when it comes to asking for help the stress multiplies as people may think you are trying to scam them or make money off a situation. They don’t know the person on the other side of the screen and how genuine they are. God does, and I’m trusting Him to get us all through all of this, but also to provide through it all. He is so faithful.

go fund me for Greg

Any help for getting him to surgery and treatments and meals for my son and I during surgery week and the six weeks of radiation is so much appreciated.

I had no idea what amount to ask for, and the GoFund Me default is $1,000 so I just left it at that. Any help at all is much appreciated.
We are a Christian family and I’ve laid this at the foot of the cross. This funding was suggested by several members of Facebook groups I’m a part of, and I’m humbling myself to place this as part of trusting God to get us through.
I know the Lord will bless you for any help you may offer. Thank you ❤

I truly appreciate your PRAYERS mostly, as I know God is good and faithful, and He listens to the prayers of His children.

I’ll be doing my best to keep you all updated here and my mirror blog,

God bless you!

oh, BTW:  I’ll have a lot of time during my waiting room hours to work on June’s scripture writing challenge, and our other monthly plans and challenges, so I’ll do my best to get that done as well.

Ponderings of My Predicaments: My Husband’s Crisis

Ponderings of My Predicaments The Great Yellow Jacket Escape

I told you all last month that I would post about what happened with my husband in December.  I’ve found myself with some quiet time this evening, so I thought this would be a good time to do so.

It all began the week between Thanksgiving and December.  My husband was in the backyard preparing things for winter.  He was walking across the back yard and forgot about the raised garden (railroad ties raised up around the garden to raise it above yard level).  He tripped over the wood and fell.  It’s important to note here, that he has a bad case of eczema and had some small sores on his knee, so to it was easy for infection to set in.

He came in hobbling a little bit, cleaned up and didn’t think much more about it.  He started hobbling around even more and eventually couldn’t walk.  I had to call 911 to come and help me pick him up. He thought it was just the one leg and it needed time to heal, so we told the EMT he could go.

The next day (or the day after, one of the two), on December 3rd my husband got down the stairs to the downstairs bathroom (we live in a split level) and he couldn’t get back up the stairs.  In fact, he was on the floor at the bottom of the stairs and couldn’t even stand up.

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Ponderings of My Predicaments – The Great Yellow Jacket Escape

Ponderings of My Predicaments The Great Yellow Jacket Escape

See this yellow jacket here? —>

Yellow Jacket

One just like this one is at the center of one of the worst days of my life to date.

On July 19th I was on our deck sweeping the leaves and debris away in preparation to assemble the new patio umbrella I’d gotten for my birthday 10 days earlier (it’s still not together). My 15 year old non-verbal autistic son, Evan, was inside and I could see him in the house on the other side of the sliding glass door that separated our kitchen from the deck.

In the corner of the deck there was a cover that usually goes over one of our patio chairs covered in leaves. I picked it up not knowing it contained a yellow jacket nest.

Yellow jackets swarmed me and one got in my ear!  I quickly went into panic mode and raced into the house and up the 7 stairs to the bathroom where the mirror was I was hoping would help me to see the nasty little creature to extract him from my ear.  The loud buzzing was disorienting me, besides the fear of the bee being in my ear to begin with. But this was just the beginning of the traumatic day for my family and I.

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Ponderings of My Predicaments – June 27 2018

Ponderings of My Predicaments June 27 2018

So I was talking with a few friends a while back about my blogging and mentioned that I was considering starting a new series that was just me talking about what’s on my mind. They said they thought that was a fabulous idea to help my readers get to know me better.  I’ve been meaning to do this before now, but it just sparked in my brain to actually start it while I had my laptop fired up 🙂

I had a blog way back when when it was rare for people to blog’ and I used the picture of myself above (from several years ago) and called that very first blog, “Ponderings of my Predicaments”.  So I decided to pull that out of the photo archives on my computer and use it. I think it looks very reflective as if I really am pondering my predicaments 🙂

My House and My Mouth

I’ve been cleaning and decluttering my house since June 8th. Really hitting it hard and gathering things in boxes and bags I want to get rid of (or hopefully sell).   I’m suffering for it, but was trying to push through the pain.  I have spinal stenosis which means I have nerves in my back that are getting pinched. The worst pain is when I’m bent over and forward like when you get clothes out of the dryer or reach for something in the back of the fridge (I SO miss our old bottom freezer fridge!) or make the bed. The official term is, “narrowing of the nerve root exit points”.  It’s in my lower left back, but I’ve been having pain in my entire lower back since starting the cleaning efforts. I’ve been spending a lot of time at night with my ice pack and my TENS unit.

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