Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Humira.... So Far So Good

I don't know how authors can write so many books. Their words are always fresh and new. 

Unlike mine.

I feel like I'm saying the same old thing over and over again. Some days the words come, and other days, like today, I can't even think of an opening sentence! 

Guess that's why I don't write books. 

I wanted to update you on Blake and how things are progressing. 

Last Wednesday and Thursday the doctors tried to get Blake's pain and nausea under control after we were taken from the Emergency Dept at Kingston General Hospital up to Room MSSU9 on Davies 5. 

They had decided that Blake would begin the treatment of Adalimumab, also known as Humira to fight his Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. 

It's a drug that will be injected, as opposed to an infusion, such as he received with the Remicade.

We figured it was going to happen on Friday, but Thursday, September 22nd around the supper hour, nurse Johanne walked in with a handful of needles. 

The first dose of Humira calls for a quadruple dose. Four needles, each containing 40mg of a hopefully healing medicine, were injected into Blake's abdomen. 

I think because of the fact that it all happened so quickly, we didn't really have much time to mentally prepare. We were getting geared up to receive the meds on Friday, after we talked a bit more with the Specialist. However, the nurse showed up with the medication all ready to go. The pharmacist had delivered it personally to the nurse's station because of it's extremely high cost.

So.... four separate needles containing Humira were injected into Blake's abdomen.

After the injections, the nurse indicated to Blake that she would return in ten or fifteen minutes to re-check his vitals. I watched Blake closely for any signs of reaction. He seemed very calm, yet distracted. I asked if he was alright, he indicated yes; however, I knew he wasn't. I said, "Are you sure?", and the dam broke loose.

I think all the stress and the sick-and-tiredness of being sick and tired was just too much for him. 

The more you learn about all these drugs and their side effects, the more overwhelming things can become. The unknown can be extremely frightening sometimes. Suffering from a chronic disease is scary. 

After we had our "it's gonna be alright" hug, the nurse returned to re-check Blake's vitals. Everything was good. There were no reactions to the new medication and I felt a great sense of relief, hoping that the medication would begin to heal my son's intestines. 

Blake put in a good night, with the nausea disappearing and the breakthrough Dilaudid pain meds not having to be used. Friday was a good day for Blake. He was still taking 2mg of Dilaudid every four hours, but his pain was less, and I noticed his complexion was clearing up again. I don't know if the clear complexion was from the Humira starting to work or if it was because they had increased his Prednisone to 50mg while in hospital.

By Saturday his pain was much better. When doctors pressed on his abdomen, he felt no pain at all! Amazing!!! So at his 2pm dose of Dilaudid (hydromorphone), Blake asked if they would cut his dose in half. 

The doctor said they could do that, and if all went well, he could go home that night. 

Whooooooa up here, dude!!!!!! 

I was NOT in favour of THAT!

I let my concerns be made known to the doctor, indicating that I did not want Blake sent home so quickly after cutting his pain meds in half. I explained that we have brought him home from hospital before, only to have him experience pain and need to return again. I respectfully suggested that perhaps it would be best to keep him a few more hours until Sunday, to which he kindly agreed. 


So Sunday morning proved to show that Blake was well on his way to better days. After a surprise visit from my Uncle Graham and Aunt Dianna, we collected our prescription notes and said our goodbyes to our wonderful nurse (one of many terrific staff members at Kingston General Hospital) and also to our roommate, David, who very kindly coloured me a pretty picture from his Smurf Colouring Book and gave it to me to keep. 

The ride home was a little uncomfortable for Blake, so he experienced some discomfort that night. But as each day has passed, his health is getting better and better. 

I have spoken with the representative who is looking after the Humira. Blake will be receiving some "Compassion Doses" until our funding is once again approved and in place. 

We see his Specialist on October 7th. At that appointment, we will discuss what's been going on with Blake's health, and   he will receive his second dose of Humira. Blake's second dose will be a double dose totalling 80mg. Then the following dose, and all future doses, every two weeks, will be single doses at 40mg.

Blake will learn to administer this drug to himself, which will be a good thing for him when he returns to university in New Brunswick, likely in January 2012 if his health continues to improve. 

Today, Wednesday, he seems stronger. He has fuller cheeks on his face, due to the Prednisone; but it's just good to see his face not all sunken-in.

He is currently racing the clock to submit an assignment and finish an online quiz for his online courses. He had forgotten all about the one-hour time difference from Ontario to New Brunswick, so he's trying to beat the clock. It's now one minute after the hour and I haven't heard him scream yet; so hopefully he got everything submitted on time. 

I have a couple of pics from the hospital, but Blake gets so annoyed with me when I take pictures. I told him someday he'll want to look back at them, but he's putting up a fuss, so I might wait a bit before posting them..... just to see if he changes his mind. Of course that would involve me transferring them from camera to computer, which seems to take me FOREVER to do! 

Because my eyelids are getting heavy, I shall bid you adieu for this evening and will hopefully take some time tomorrow or Friday to update you on my sister. I've been very lazy this week after running from hospital to hospital, so I've been slack on reporting the wonderful news of her special gift. Maybe I'll get the pics loaded up for that blog post! 

Sorry this was a "yawner" of a post. I can only hope I get back into the swing of things soon! 

Thank you to everyone for your prayers for Blake and our family. I appreciate it very much. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hello Once Again, Dear Hospital

And we are coming to you live once again from Kingston General Hospital! 

I brought Blake here to the Emerg Department late last night, actually more like the early wee hours of the morning. 

His pain over the last three weeks has never really gone away, but was controlled with some morphine. This last week has been a bit rougher with him needing regular doses as well as breakthrough pills to help keep the pain at bay. 

Yesterday involved a lot of pain and quite a bit of vomiting. He was weak and just couldn't keep anything down. We were hopeful to wait it out, as Blake's appointment with the Specialist here in Kingston was planned for today, Wednesday, at 3pm. 

However, as I watched Blake he continued to progress to a weaker state. I took his pulse and he was approximately 140 beats per minute. Way.too.high. I was told if he ever got to 150, he needed to be brought to Emerg. Close enough for me

We hit the road and arrived at KGH at a perfect time. We went straight through to triage and registration and then waited only about 10 minutes before entering the Emergency Room. That is FANTASTIC timing for Kingston! Usually that only happens in Picton! 

First they tried to get the pain and nausea under control. Then we went through a long line of doctors and interns and resident doctors.... each one wanting to hear the story of Blake's last two years in detail. That is the one thing that Blake hates.... telling the same thing over and over. I remember last year he looked at a doctor and said something like, "It's in my chart. You can read it there." 

Must remind him to mind his manners! [grin]

But it's understanding when you don't feel well. He actually just snapped a little at me a few minutes ago. The nurse brought in some medication (can't remember what it's called) that gets injected in your stomach. It helps to prevent blood clots. Blake didn't want it, but I 'suggested' he take it. I'm not gonna have even MORE problems from a blood clot all because he didn't want a little "ouchy" on his tummy.

He apologized afterwards. I've noticed he's very "short" lately, not only with me, but other members of the family. Even his Grandma! 


Highly unusual! 

But understandable. 

Anyways, back to what's going on. While in Emerg last night, in the curtained cubicles, there was a gentleman who was an inmate. He had two police officers parked in comfy chairs at the foot of his bed. The poor guy was moaning from pain.

Being only about three or four feet from him with only a pink plaid curtain between us, I couldn't help but 'eavesdrop' that he had a hole in his stomach or bowel; doctors weren't sure yet which one. He was in so much pain. My heart was breaking. I so badly wanted to go and help. 

They were being wonderful with him, though, in trying to get enough pain meds into him to lower the pain. In mere moments he was rushed off to the Operating Room. I could hear them helping him to get changed from clothing to a hospital gown. Then I heard the officers' cuffs being re-attached to him as they clanged against the metal on the bed's siderails. 

That broke my heart. Even if he'd wanted to escape, he wouldn't have gotten far in that much pain. I know it's precautionary and routine, but still broke my heart. 

I don't know how things turned out because he, of course, was never brought back to the Emerg Dept. But I feel folks are in good hands here, so I'm sure he's recuperating here somewhere, under watchful eye! 

So, back to Blake. 

Basically it's the same diagnosis as before. Intestines are not blocked, but rather quite inflamed. Prednisone is being administered to get the inflammation down. Dilaudid is what is being given for pain rather than morphine. It's apparently a little more effective. 

Dr. Patterson, a Gastroenterologist, came in to see Blake today and confirmed he will talk with our Specialist, Dr. Depew, and we will see about starting Blake on Humira. 

I mentioned to Dr. Patterson that the only big medicines I hear being used to treat Crohn's Disease are Remicade and Humira. I asked him what the next med would be for Blake if the Humira didn't work. He simply indicated there wasn't one. We would possibly, at that point, have to look at cutting out a chunk of bowel.

Now, we have been told in the past that Blake did not have enough good areas in his bowel to leave (that all of the intestines would have to come out); however, Dr. Patterson said there was a good chunk of bowel that still looked good and could be hooked back up to the ileum without any problem. That was good to hear! 

But I am hoping that the Humira will be effective in treating Blake. That's what I will be focussing on right now. 

That, and the fact that SOMEONE in this hospital needs to bring ear plugs to Blake so he can sleep tonight..... the man in the bed next to him is the loudest snorer I have ever heard in my life!!!! His name is David. David is..... um.... large. And David is loud. And he seems half deaf, so everyone yells when they're in here talking to him. No rest for Blake tonight, I guess.

I know I've been all over the map with this post. I've had to do it in sections and also while dealing with a headache, so I'm sure it's all a mess. And although it's to give info to others, it's basically a journal for me to refer back to at any time. 

I will try and make the next posts more structured. [grin]

And a little more exciting. 

For now, that's it. Maybe we'll have more news tomorrow. I'll likely drive back home tonight and head back down here tomorrow. I need to sleep in a horizontal state tonight; can't do another night in a chair! 

Tomorrow maybe I'll have some time to post regarding a very special gift one of my sisters gave to a friend. We are at a hospital one-hour east of our home. My sister is in a hospital two-hours west of our home, in Toronto. Let's just say it involves a liver and a very giving heart.

So until tomorrow, I shall bid you adieu. Goodnight.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Here We Go Again

Well, it's been a long time folks. But here I am again. Reporting from Blake's hospital room.

I have not been faithful in keeping the blog updated regarding Blake's health, which is too bad because I use it as a journal to record what's been happening. That way I can always refer back to it.

Unfortunately, I've been slack in that area. 

Blake's health over the last year has been somewhat of a small roller coaster. He has been receiving the Remicade treatments; but other than one dose, they've never lasted the whole eight weeks. 

In June of this year, we met with his Specialist and we explained that his health has not been all that great, as well as the fact that the meds lose their effect after the fifth to sixth week. 

The doctor did not hesitate at all to bump up the doses by two weeks, which we were thankful for! So instead of a dose every eight weeks, Blake would start receiving a dose every six weeks. 

In May of this year, his dose only lasted two weeks to the day. We thought perhaps it was just a fluke or a glitch. However, July's dose proved to be the same thing.

We contacted the Specialist's office; however, we were told they were on holidays until mid August and that we should seek assistance from our own doctor in our hometown, or if things got worse, we should go to our local Emergency Department. 

After calling our own doctor and discovering she was on holidays as well, we sought help from the Emergency Department. We basically explained that Blake needed something to help with pain control until we could see the Specialist a couple of weeks later. 

The doctor was wonderful and did not hesitate to give Blake some relief with morphine. 

The unfortunate part was that we didn't get enough morphine and had to seek medical attention from Emerg again the following week. The doctor on duty was my husband's doctor and was helpful as well in writing a script for morphine for Blake. 

We then saw our Specialist the next week. It was my suspicion that perhaps the Remicade was no longer doing its job; that Blake's body was starting to reject this drug that we have referred to as his Miracle Drug. 

The Specialist was concerned that perhaps there were other reasons for Blake's pain and suggested getting a CT Scan and then possibly a colonoscopy, depending on what the Scan showed. 

He also wrote a script for more morphine, as Blake's supply was once again getting low. 

Later that week, Blake's pain was increasing, requiring more morphine. Because the doctors were only writing the prescriptions for 40 tablets, Blake ran out. 

We tried to get answers from our Specialists office as to the results of the CT Scan, but after a week of calling their office, we were told they only had unverified reports and that the doctor would get back to us once he had a chance to review them.

So because we could not get answers from the Specialist, and Blake was out of morphine, we headed back to our local Emergency Department for more morphine.


let me tell you....

THAT was an experience. 

The doctor on duty, who is not well known for his great attitude, lectured us on how we should be seeking narcotics from our own doctors and NOT at the Emergency Department. We tried to explain to him that when you can't get in touch with your Specialists OR your doctors, what else do you do, he began to tell us how he doesn't know that we won't sell them on the street. 

Insert frustration here! 

We tried to explain to him that we were aware of how some people abuse the system and that the Emergency Department doctors have policies in place;  however, we wanted to know what else we were supposed to do when we already tried everything in our power to get the help from the necessary people. 

His attitude stunk and it quite tried my patience. He said he'd write the prescription "this time", but we should seek to get lots of repeats on hand because of the disease that Blake suffers from. 

Seriously dude???? What do you think we've been TRYING to do???? 

Sorry, folks. I know that I'm rambling on here, but it is so frustrating when you feel like you're beating the head against the wall. 

I can tell you that I likely will wait in the waiting room at Emerg and wait for a shift change, should that doctor be on duty again. I have no time for arrogant, head-up-their-own-butt people. Sorry. I know I'll likely regret writing that, but for right now it feels very therapeutic! 

So very early Sunday morning, 1:30am-ish, my Mom calls me. Blake had been staying with her and my Dad. She said Blake's pain hadn't let up for a few hours and she was concerned. Jon immediately said we would head to Emerg; however, we would be heading straight to Kingston this time to ensure he was admitted and cared for until the pain got under control and decisions were made as to future treatment. 

Arriving at Emerg at KGH, we were treated very well by the staff. They worked to get Blake comfortable and get his pain under control. 

Thankfully they decided to admit him. I'm wondering if the doctor at Emerg noticed I had brought bags already packed, expecting to be admitted. 

He kindly said that they would get his pain under control and he'd see about getting us admitted. [That's MY kind o' doctor!] 

Word shortly came back to us that he would be admitted and that an x-ray and colonoscopy would be happening before he was released. 

Over the next day or two, Blake saw many different doctors and specialists (none of them being our own specialist), all asking the same questions, all poking and prodding at his already-very-tender guts. He gets frustrated having to tell the story over and over and over to different folks. I remember at one point in 2009 or 2010 during one of our hospital visits, he looked at one of the doctors and said, "It's in my chart! You can read it!"

Blake's attitude has been, for the most part, pretty good over the last two years. But he has his days. 

I've noticed that since he's been on morphine, he's a little edgy by times. He always is prone to 'snap' at ME; but when his 'snarkiness' was directed to my Mom, we knew that he just wasn't feeling himself at all.

The x-ray that was done on Sunday showed some inflammation, but nothing too alarming. Rather than a colonoscopy, the doctors just performed a scope on Blake. They also took a couple of biopsies at the time. We have not heard any official results from that scope. Sounds like we won't hear anything until we meet with the Specialist in a couple of weeks. 

As of right now, they are treating Blake with morphine for pain, as well as giving him some Prednisone which helps to settle down the inflammation. 

Blake HATES the Prednisone. It throws his system off, in that he can't sleep at night. It increases his appetite, usually; however, his appetite has not been good since we've been admitted. Yesterday and today he's hardly eaten anything. He had to take a Gravol to settle his stomach about an hour ago. 

I know he's anxious to get home; however, I am quite content that he's here. It's too hard to get admitted to hospital, so once he's in here I like him to stay! 

At this point they are looking at sending him home tonight or tomorrow. They want to get lots of this I.V. Prednisone in his system to settle the inflammation of the intestines. 

Apparently we will see the Specialist in a couple of weeks, at which time we will discuss whether he feels the Remicade is still doing it's job, or whether we will switch to Humira. 

The side affects of these drugs is quite frightening; however, what else do we do? We are trying to watch the foods that Blake consumes so as not to aggravate his intestines; but sometimes even plain ol' water bothers him. I guess the trick is getting the intestines healed up first and then trying different foods. 

It's been two years and days like today I feel like we're right back at the start. There's so much to learn. I joined a Facebook page regarding Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis. Hopefully to read other's stories will prove to be of some benefit. 

Anyways, folks, that's about it for now. I know this was a long and rambling post; but so many ask us for details, it's just easier to post it all here. 

Your prayers and concerns for Blake (and our family) are greatly appreciated. We are thankful to be sheltered under the Lord's wing and surrounded by a caring bunch of family and friends. Despite the physical ailments, we are truly blessed. 

I will attempt to keep this blog more updated for those who have been asking. :o) 

Regular up-to-date posts are always on Facebook. Feel free to add me as a friend to stay up to date on Blake's situation at "Michelle Fraser Found".

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hot and Humid

It's hot and it's humid. 

They say today is likely the hottest day of the year. 

I am not doubting it. 

Came across two different comics today that I thought were hilarious. 


And stay cool!!!! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jesus, Bring The Rain

Today the weather has been a bit wonky. 

Started out as a beautiful sunny morning with a nice slight breeze, just enough to blow the humidity around.

Then it quickly darkened up. The clouds rolled in and hid the sun. Then the sound of raindrops. And more raindrops.

A downpour of water. 

I went back to my chore, and when I looked out again, the sun was shining brightly. 

I listened and heard no raindrops, but rather the singing of the birds. 

I chuckled as to how quickly things change. 

A few moments passed, and the rains returned. Everything was drenched with water. 

Moments later, the sun peaked through again. 

I got a text from my youngest son. I needed to pick him up from work. He couldn't do his outside job in this rain. I told him it was sunny here, but he assured me it was non-stop rain where he was working.

Before we are finished texting, the rains returned here. I went out into the rain to get to my vehicle. 

I only got a few miles and the sun started to shine again. The edges of the ol' country roads showed pools of water collecting, creating big fresh cool bathing puddles for the birds. 

As I continued to drive, I thought of how the sudden change in weather is comparable to our experience in life. 

One minute we're enjoying the sun, soaking up it's warmth, basking in good times. 

All is well. 

And in an instant the trials, the "rains", come. We're not prepared. We don't expect it. We run for cover and just want to hide. We can do nothing about it but sit and watch and wonder "how long is this going to last!?". 

We all experience it at one time or another. Some more than others. 

But what happens when the sun comes out again..... you realize the little downpour of water was a good thing..... it gave the earth a drink. The flowers and plants appreciated it. The animals appreciated it. The rains didn't last forever; they were just here for a time. 

Same with our trials. They don't last forever. They may seem like they last forever. They may last a few minutes or a few months or years; they may last your whole earthly lifetime. 

I used to really dislike when I would hear people talk about how they thank God for their trials; how the trials made them stronger. I didn't want to hear about that. I wanted to hear how God could teach us to be faithful during the good and easy times!

Now, I'm realizing that's not really possible. Just like when you exercise.... it's not effective without some pain and effort. You don't build those muscles while lying on the couch eating potato chips.

And our lives are the same. We don't always learn much when everything is going along with great ease. 

I cannot tell you how much I have disliked the trials that we've experienced, in the last number of years most especially. And I cannot tell you how I really don't want to keep enduring them or go through them again.

But I can tell you that when I look back, I do thank God for them..... [did I really just say that?]... for they have taught me more about who I am, who I want to be. They've taught me who and what is important in my life. I've learned to appreciate the little things more.... the most simplest little things. 

Would I have learned all of that in the sunshine?  Not likely. I had to be out in the rain. In the downpour. Getting wet. Getting soaked. 

But the sun comes out again. And it's a richer sun. A brighter sun. A warmer sun. 

More rains will come. And the sun will not be far behind. In fact the sun is there, behind the clouds.

More trials will come. And the Son is there for me. Not behind a cloud, but He is there for me..... and in me... and all around me.... and through me.

And I'm slowly learning to understand the concept of "Jesus, bring the rain".

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

To Be Totally Truthful

After debating with myself on what I should write about, since I haven't posted anything for four and a half months..... yah, I know,.... sorry!, I thought I'd make this short and to the point....

...figuring you'd all get a good chuckle at MY expense.

This past Sunday, early evening, I was visiting "the little girls room" and made a shocking discovery.

I realized that unbeknownst to me.....

or anyone else (thankfully).....

all day.....

I had been........


wearing my undies......


inside out.

Now, is that not just totally embarrassing, or what!?

So isn't this a great way to get back into blogging? with total openness and honesty? (I know.... "too much information".)


at least they weren't on backwards!!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Daystar Shine Down On Me

Watched a great video today with great harmonies and a great message.

Wanted to pass it on. Enjoy.

[First, please scroll to the bottom of this page and pause the blog music.]

Daystar Shine Down On Me

Lily of the Valley
Let Your sweet aroma fill my life
Rose of Sharon
Show me how to grow in beauty in God's sight
Fairest of ten thousand
Make me a reflection of Your light
Daystar shine down on me
Let Your love shine through me in the night

Lead me Lord, I'll follow
Anywhere You open up the door
Let Your word speak to me
Show me what I've never seen before
Lord, I want to be Your witness
You can take what's wrong and make it right
Daystar shine down on me
Let Your love shine through me in the night

Lord, I see a world that's dying
Wounded by the master of deceit
Groping in the darkness
Wounded by the years of past defeats
Then I see you standing near me, Lord
Shining with compassion in Your eyes
I pray Jesus shine down on me
Let Your love shine through me in the night

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Prisoner Of The Lord

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Ephesians 4:1 (NLT)

A little bird I am

Shut from the fields of air;

And in my cage I sit and sing

To Him who placed me there;

Well pleased a prisoner to be,

Because, my God, it pleaseth Thee.

Nought have I else to do;

I sing the whole day long;

And He whom most I love to please

Doth listen to my song;

He caught and bound my wandering wing,

But still He bends to hear me sing.

Thou hast an ear to hear;

A heart to love and bless;

And though my notes were e'er so rude,

Thou would'st not hear the less;

Because Thou knowest, as they fall,

That love, sweet love, inspires them all.

My cage confines me round,

Abroad I cannot fly;

But though my wing is closely bound,

My heart's at liberty.

My prison walls cannot control

The flight, the freedom of the soul.

Oh, it is good to soar,

These bolts and bars above,

To Him whose purpose I adore,

Whose providence I love;

And in Thy mighty will to find

The joy, the freedom of the mind.

[A Threefold Cord - pg 63]

Friday, February 18, 2011

Little Girls Are So Sweet

An opportunity presented itself this past Fall for me to return to piano lessons.

As a little girl, I took piano lessons at the age of nine until approximately age twelve.

Most of the time, I hated it.

I wanted to quit.

Much to mother's disappointment, I did quit.

Now, as an adult, I am kicking myself.

And I think that's why I wouldn't let the boys quit their fiddle lessons many years ago (not mentioning any names.... Jake & Jared....... [wink]) . I knew they'd someday regret it if they did quit.

So, this piano-lesson opportunity became available, and I've returned to lessons. My teacher is one of the most amazing piano players. His name is Tony Silvestri and he is eighteen years old. He's spectacular and full of talent. I only wish he'd leave his talent in the ivory so that when "I" sit down to play the piano, I sound like him.

Ain't gonna happen, let me tell ya!

Anyways, about two weeks ago I had my regular lesson. The next day or so, Tony sent me a Facebook message with regards to a conversation he had with his student who has lessons just after me. She's a little girl around nine or ten years old (or thereabouts).

Here's how their conversation went:

Little Girl: "I think it's weird that, like, you're 18 and you're teaching older people."

Tony: "Why is that weird?"

Little Girl: "I dunno.... because you're 18, and she's, like, 20!"

Is that not ADORABLE??????


I love it.

At forty-four, I'll take a compliment anywhere I can get it!

.... including from a sweet little girl.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Long Overdue Family Update

I am sitting here in front of the computer and I AM NOT MOVING until I finish this post! haha

All week long I've been trying to take half an hour to write a simple update. Then I think, "Well I'll just get [whatever] done first, and THEN I'll write". And of course I get side-tracked. It's happened all week, and today is the day that my hiney is not moving outta this chair until a post is complete!

Before I started the post, I read an article in our local newspaper about a dog that had wandered from its home here in The County and was outside for nine nights in frigid weather. The owners saw evidence of tracks leading to open ice where they assumed their dog had fell in. As the days and week passed, they had given up hope, until a neighbour happened to glance outside one day and saw what looked like the Great Dane in the field. He called the owner and they went out and the poor ol' six-year-old dog was just barely alive. They got him to the vet, and he is coming along fine, after losing a whopping 50 pounds. So naturally, my eyes were welled up with tears by the time I was done reading.

Then I turn to my blog site and get caught up on one of the blogs I follow about a little girl battling cancer. I don't know the family personally.... I just followed a link that I stumbled upon one day in 2009.... but I've been following their progress. They just found out two days ago that her MRI shows more signs of cancer, despite their battle thus far. The family is sickened and heartbroken. They had anticipated a good report after battling this disease for over 19 months now. They struggle with their emotions right now, knowing that the Lord has the power to instantly heal their little girl but wondering why He hasn't.


Why do I bother putting on make up in the mornings only to have it washed off with tears.

We just don't have the answers that we need sometimes to deal with life's situations. We question why we must endure the pain, the sadness, the frightful moments that we encounter.

But God continues to sustain. He promises to never leave us. In fact, He carries us through these times. Sometimes we're like a child who is being carried against their will, where we kick and hit and fuss and scream because we don't understand. But if we just can get to the place where we accept what's been dealt and continue to persevere and move forward, we can look back and see God's fingerprints and presence all over our situation. Those moments of reflection are good for the upcoming trials and tribulations of our lives.

Yes. That's right. There's more coming! More pain. More hurt. More sadness. We might as well accept that fact. BUT!.... [gotta love those "but" moments]... we can rest assured that God does not change, and He will be there to carry us once more.

As this little girl, Kate, and her family walk through this battle, please remember them in prayer. The button on the right side of the blog shows "Pray For Kate". Click on over to their site and support them in prayer.

We've been no stranger to battles ourselves over the last few years. Our household has been turned upside down a few times; but I want to just give some updates to you as to the life and times of The Found Family over the last while.

And it's all GOOD!!!!!

Let's start with Jon & Jake.
I'm grouping these two crazy characters together because they've been glued to the hip over the last number of months.

Jon and Jake have been travelling in portions of Canada and The States, and I think Jon is quite excited to have one of his "little" boys accompanying him. He enjoys having the company and the help. Jake has always had an interest in the truck and helping his Daddy. It was pretty much the only way he could get time to spend with his father, since Jon was away so much of the time when they were younger.

Jake has sat in the passenger seat many times, soaking in every movement Jon makes. He's watched Jon carefully to know when to shift, when to hit the clutch, when to signal, when to brake, how to turn the wheel when backing up, how much distance is needed when turning....... he's catalogued all these things in his head and is now sitting in the driver's seat. Although he was driving that big rig by the tender age of 14 [usually only across the flat prairies, thank the Lord!] and has sat on his Dad's knee since practically birth, helping to steer the truck, he has now become legal to drive the eighteen wheeler.

He got his medical done yesterday along with writing his driver's test for an AZ license. His appointment for the actual driving test is at the end of this month. The loving mother in me is extremely proud of his accomplishments. The worried mother in me wants him to fail that driver's test.

Know where I'm comin' from?


I don't think I'm ever gonna stop being concerned about my kids. Even when I die and I'm in Heaven, I can see myself walking with Jesus, looking down at the happenings on earth and watching my children and saying to Jesus, "Well are You just gonna stand there and let that happen???" He'll smile and wrap His arm around my shoulder, and in a most lovingly caring way, He'll say to me, "Shush up, woman. I've got it covered". haha.

I am glad that Jake and Jon have this time of bonding. It's funny to hear them gripe about one another, but they love each other and I think they'll be fine. They are currently working on ways to cut their road expenses. The purchase of a small refrigerator and 9-volt oven to use in the truck have already saved them money. It's cute to hear Jon get so excited about it. Says he should've done this twenty years ago. haha.

Health wise, they are doing great, although Jon should likely eat more salads. BHAHAhahaha. Sorry, Jonny. Couldn't resist. Jon looked at himself in the mirror the other day and came to the "sudden" realization that he had gained weight. I truly think that their new method of eating in the truck will help his situation.

As they come to your mind, please pray for them... for travelling mercies. It's hard not to worry about them; but I must keep in mind that God is still in control.

As for ME....
I could stand to lose a bit of weight myself. I've porked on the weight since Christmas. Not that my clothes feel any tighter, I just feel fatter. I think it's a lack of exercise. I borrowed my sister's treadmill, and I must say it works amazing.... when I actually USE it! Jared has been teasing me about using it, or rather the lack of using it. I just don't have the energy. And I know once I START using it, I WILL have the energy. It's just a matter of me developing a new routine.

I don't get 'inspired' often, but for some reason a few weeks ago, I was inspired to paint my bedroom. It has had white primer-painted walls for about 18 years now. I thought it was time for a change. hahhaaaa. I guess I just never felt the need to get it painted. There was always something else more important to do. And I'm only ever in there to sleep or fold some laundry. And when I'm sleeping, my eyes are closed and it's dark and I can't see the colour of the walls anyways.

But I decided it was time. So I went to the store when the paint was on sale and picked a colour I liked from the forty-ka-jillion colours to choose from. I chose a nice coloured green.... reminds me of string beans... Jake says it looks like vomit. I've seen a lot of vomit in my days with raising three boys; but I've never seen vomit the colour of string beans.... unless of course I'd just finished EATING them only to see them re-surface!

Well, I don't care what Jake says, I think it's a nice colour. The difficult part will now be to find a bedspread and curtains that will match. Should've got those first, I guess, and then chose the paint colour. Oh well. It's done. After 18 years. I like it. That settles it.

Danielle came over to help me tear wallpaper down in my kitchen. (I TOLD you I was feeling inspired! What is WRONG with me???!!!) She LOVES removing wallpaper. Can you believe that? She doesn't want to help me ever put paper ON the walls, nor does she want to help with painting; however she will be here in a heartbeat when the wallpaper needs to come down. I think she might have a psychological imbalance there somewhere. Jus' sayin'.

I also need to finish painting the trim in the living room. I bought the paint and got the hallway trim and doors painted (need to second coat some of it), but then for some reason I moved onto the bedroom. I start a project and then never finish it. Ugh.

Starting Monday, I need to get back into some paperwork again. I procrastinated over the Christmas holidays. Tsk-tsk. Need to get things caught up again in that area.

And other than running Jared around, that's pretty much what I've been doing, folks. Soooooo exciting...... not. haha.

And speaking of Jared....
This is one busy little character. I have been running non-stop with this fellow. He has been quite involved with highschool basketball, which includes an out-of-town tournament tomorrow and Saturday....


there is something ELSE taking up his time. Or rather I should say someONE!

Jarey has a girlfriend... Jarey has a girlfriend.

I am most pleased to announce that Jared has been "dating" a young lady named Karli. And she's divine. She is very much "mother-approved". What a lovely young lady. She's smart, polite, courteous, thoughtful and beautiful. AND her mother and I get along and can finish each other's sentences! hahahaha. Jon and I have both shared with Jared that he's got a good girl and if he messes this up, we'll be keeping HER and sending HIM on his way! haha.

It's been fun for me to hang out with Jared, while Jake is with Jon, and Blake is at university. I have always enjoyed watching the boys entertain with music and be involved in sports events, and Jared has certainly kept me hopping with the soccer and basketball and hockey games. He gives his all, and never ceases to entertain his Momma.

And finally, we have Blake.

I am sooooooo excited to report that Blake's health has been nothing short of amazing these past two months. Blake received his last dose of Remicade on December 13th, five days before flying to Brasil for four weeks. While in Brasil he experienced no pain with his Crohn's. His dear girlfriend, Anelyse, and her darling family spoiled Blake to great lengths and fed him foods that were obviously intestinal friendly! This week marks his eighth week since the Remicade dose and he feels fantastic. PRAISE THE LORD!

He said he has experienced no pain or other symptoms, and he will receive his next dose this coming Monday (Feb 7th). He has never made it a whole eight weeks without some type of pain, so we are greatly rejoicing!

He continues his studies in New Brunswick, and I will be quite excited to see him in March when we bring him home for his March Break. Not seeing him over the Christmas holidays has really made everyone here at home aching to see him.

And no, I was not upset about him being in Brasil over the holidays. My main concern was his health, and because he had a dose before departure, I was not concerned.... ok... maybe 1% concerned.... maybe 3%... but that's all. I was happy he could spend this Christmas with Anelyse and her family, since we got to have Anelyse here with us last year. And I was very relieved to know that his feet were on solid ground (upon arriving in Brasil and then again back in US and Canada).

He is experiencing an extremely heavy semester this term, so please pray for his mind and for his health during this stressful time. Stress can trigger Crohn's flare-ups, so he must pace himself accordingly. In the meantime, he is so thrilled that his health is presently good. And three cheers to the "higher ups" at his university who have authorized the kitchen staff to prepare healthier meals for their students.


This will help Blake immensely, so he doesn't have to spend time preparing all of his own meals and can concentrate on his studies!

Oh, and might I do a bit of motherly bragging for a moment? Blake made the Dean's List last semester with a 3.56 GPA. We are very proud of him and know that the Lord is gonna use this boy..... man... [ok... but he's ALWAYS my little boy] in so many instrumental ways. The Lord actually already has used Blake for His glory during his whole illness! Expect to see that boy doing some amazing work for the Kingdom!

And on that note, I think I should close this post. You've had lots of reading, and I really have only given you a few hi-lights of what's been going on. But rest assured we are doing well at the moment. It is now our turn to lift up so many others that are in the midst of battle themselves. We were supported by so many during our afflictions, and we want to now pay it forward.

Until next time, God bless.