According to Kristi, Wednesday was by far one of her roughest recovery days. She was so sick and in a tremendous amount of pain when we got home from her long day of check-up appointments. Thank you for your prayers. God answered them!! After midnight, we were able to give her medication with a protein drink and she was able to keep her medication down and get some relief from the discomfort tied to the partial obstruction in her small intestine. She was able to sleep for a couple hours at a time without too much pain and nausea.
Yesterday morning when we got her up from the bed to try and help her shower for the home health nurse, her entire body hurt and she felt so weak that she could not even stand for long. This brought some tears of discouragement and fear. As we settled her back into bed, Dad and I felt helpless. We could not remove her physical misery and we understood her need to grieve. We have prayed for discernment regarding her symptoms, but did not know what to do. As you have noticed from other posts by my siblings, it seems we all start rubbing her back or feet or legs when we feel helpless. : ) To keep up with tradition, Dad started rubbing her back and legs while I stood there wanting to cry. Instead, I turned and grabbed two small pieces of paper out of her "Cup of Thoughts" a friend from her Cancer Posse had sent with her. As I started to read these, Kristi stopped crying and a peaceful look covered her face and she even had a small smile by the end. Thank you God for the Peace that comes only from Your Word!!!
The first was written as if from Jesus. It said, "Do not let any set of circumstances intimidate you. The more challenging your day, the more of MY POWER I place at your disposal. The degree to which I strengthen you on a given day is based mainly on two variables; the difficulty of your circumstances and your willingness to depend on Me for help. Try to view challenging days as opportunities to receive more of My POWER than usual. Look to Me for all that you need, and watch to see what I will do. As your day, so shall your strength be. " (Eph 1-18-20, Psalm 105, Deut 33:25) (I told her this was going to be a day of amazing strength because her needs were HUGE!!)
The second note was entitled "Afraid" and held promises from God's word that became very true and personal to Kristi after their house burned down several years ago and God protected them. It said, "Surely, You are my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. You are with me; You are my helper. You will never leave me or forsake me. You have called me by name. When I pass through the waters, you will be with me. They will not sweep over me. I can walk through fire and not be burned for I am precious and honored in your sight because you love me. God, you are my refuge and strength; an ever present help in trouble. Therefore, I will not fear, though the earth give way and mountains fall into the sea." (Ps. 118:6,7, Heb. 13:5, Isa 43:1-5, Ps. 46:1-2)
Kristi and Billy were concerned. Our family has been concerned. The Dr.'s released her to go home to Arkansas in spite of the partial obstruction and in spite of her fatigue, weakness, nausea, some vomiting, and fluid still draining from abdomen. We had prayed they would be unified in their decision, and they were. They felt that her "overall recovery" would occur best at home. They know the piece of this that has to do with the mental and emotion are huge in recovery. Going Home....Seeing her Children....will help. They also know that in many cases these issues resolve themselves and this misery is part of the recovery. They are concerned about her being far away from them, but also don't want her just waiting in Houston..."in case".
Because we were the ones with her when she was so terrible sick, I started asking God to please make it VERY clear if we were to leave Houston or stay. We are ALL anxious about going so far away from her Dr.'s. Yesterday, God answered this prayer and gave us some CLEAR answers.
1. Kristi improved as the day went on. We were able to shower her late afternoon, she was able to eat and drink some without getting sick, and there was some passage through the intestine.
2. I helped Kristi to email Dr. Levenbach and ask him to make contact with the original GYN Oncologist Kristi started with in Arkansas so that someone in Arkansas would understand what the situation was so Kristi would feel she had a local Dr. By mid afternoon, Kristi received a call and he had already called him, mailed her medical records and gave Dr. Ivy his personal cell phone number to call. (This was amazing when we know how busy Dr. L is and that is was taken care of so promptly and personally) This gave Kristi and Billy...and the rest of us...much peace.
3. The last CLEAR, answer to my prayer came when Dad got a phone call from the apartment manager and because they had not heard anything from us on Wednesday, they had rented our apartment to someone else. They were to move in SUNDAY! YIKES!!! Dad calmly explained we had been at MD Anderson for 10 hours Tuesday and had a rough day and had not even thought about making contact. He asked if we could pay for the other people to stay in a Hotel for the weekend. The new people moving in for medical treatment agreed to come on Monday.
So...... We feel God has certainly and specifically and clearly answered this prayer, and also find comfort in God going before Kristi with the contact between Dr. Levenback and Dr. Ivy.
Our next hurdle has been to find a private flight for Kristi home. There is no way she can return home via ground transportation in her current condition. Even if we took 3 days and did it slowly, getting in and out of the Tahoe every 1 1/2 hours to protect against blood clots would exhaust her and cause more pain and nausea. Amy has been working on securing this flight via Angel Flights or other connections. Please pray God will provide a flight by Sunday and for the finances for this flight. (We are saving her one flight paid for by insurance for an emergency flight back to MD Anderson. The Dr. said she will have to get here immediately if there is complete blockage or other complications that would require surgery. No one else is to open her back up).
I will plan to fly with her, and Dad will make the 10 hour trip in the car if we are able to make these arrangements.
Continue to pray that her intestine obstruction goes away on its own and that there is no scar tissue causing this that would require surgery.
Pray for her strength of heart, mind and body, and that she will continue to be able to hydrate and get enough nourishment from her very limited diet right now.
Pray that the fluid continues to drain from her abdomen and against further infection.
Pray for Isaiah and Alyssa: Billy is trying to prepare them for the wheelchair and walker and her being bed ridden and little energy to interact a lot. We know they will probably expect her to be "herself" since she is getting to come home from the hospital because that is what they have experienced in the past.
Visitors at Home
We know many of you will be so excited to see Kristi and want to encourage her. We are working to figure out what this will look like because of her fatigue and having to protect agains germs and infection. We will try and post on this blog and the facebook page who the contact person for the week will be so you can call if you want to come visit. We are going to ask that no children come initially and will need to monitor the timing of the adult visits around the many daily steps to Kristi's care and her rest.
Also, many of you are offering to be a care giver and Kristi is so honored and encouraged by your offers. Much of her care at this point is very personal in nature so there will be family and a limited few that will be giving care to her directly. However, my Arkansas sisters (Amy & Katy, along with Danielle May and Billy and Kristi's Community Group from church) are making arrangements for many other opportunities for care in the home, with the children, etc.. We are trying to get organized. Please be patient with us as we work out the best plan and as we have been told to be restrictive about visits for the first 2-3 months. I'm sure it will continue to evolve as Kristi becomes more independent and will include more of you. A year is a LONG Recovery and there will be time for many of you to help.
We do know that the travel home itself is going to exhaust her and experience has shown us that it will take a minimum of two days for her to rest and recover. As stated earlier, we will post on the blog and facebook page the contact for the week, and will also post when she is ready to receive visitors.
Blessings to you all for your willingness to walk with the Wrights, and for the many ways you have sustained each of us on this journey.