As I mentioned during my last blog post, I’ve been taking some time off from social media and my blog to go through extensive medical testing. I’ll be honest, it has been challenging.
Being poked and prodded over and over again is exhausting, stressful, and sometimes painful. It is all for a great purpose – the hope of being put on the lung transplant list.
I wanted to provide an update of where I am in the process. I appreciate your encouragement and prayers so much. I’m about ¾ of the way through, having completed all but two major tests. I also need to consult with another specialist.
The other big goal I’ve been working on is losing 43 pounds. It was 37 pounds, but then I discovered I’m 5’2″, not 5’3” so that added another 7 pounds to lose. The great news is I’ve lost 25 pounds with 18 to go – over halfway there This is quite an accomplishment as it is especially hard to lose weight while using supplemental oxygen 24/7 and not able to do much physically.
Latest News from My Doctors
- My lung health is pretty stable. I’m hanging in there. Good News!
- My heart is stressed and struggling a little.
- The results of all my tests haven’t disqualified me from being considered for the transplant list. Yay!
- The transplant team’s plan is to list me in early 2019 which is my 5-year cancer free date. This is the date we are working with unless an upcoming test disqualifies me, or I have a sudden downturn. They are rushing to get all my testing done, so if I worsen, I’ll be able to get on the list sooner.
I’m relieved they aren’t planning to list me until then. This way I have a basic plan and can enjoy the fall and the holidays before being (hopefully) listed. This is all good news and I am trusting God for the outcome.
What I’ve Learned
I’ve learned some things through this daunting process that may help you through the challenging times you are going through.
- Don’t look at the challenge all at once – facing all the tests at once was overwhelming. It really helped to discipline my mind to not focus on the challenges facing me, but to focus on God and how He will help me.
- Focus on one step at a time – it really helped me to focus on one test at a time, even when having several on one day. This was stressful, because I often needed to prepare for the next test or doctor visit and provide appropriate documentation.
- Draw near to God – God is my constant companion through each challenging moment. It benefits me so to focus on how He is with me, and pray simple prayers like, “give me the strength, calm my fears, and be with me dear Jesus.” Meditating on encouraging Bible verses has been a blessing to me as well.
- Do your best, and trust God for the rest – my job is to do the best I can each step of the way, and leave the results to God. He knows my future, and I trust that He will help during this challenging time. I believe this whether I get a transplant or not.
- Give yourself plenty of time to rest and recover if possible – This has helped me so much. I try to allow plenty of time to prepare for the next doctor or test, as well as time to rest up afterwards. It surprises me how worn out I get.
- Give yourself grace – I’ve had to work on being kind to myself about the little amount I am able to accomplish. Before the last year I’ve been able to do a lot of writing, release a new book, and be active online. Sometimes I look at my day and tell myself I didn’t do anything. This is very discouraging and hard for me to get used to. Then I pause and tell myself the truth,
“You are doing the best you can.”
“Going through all these tests and doctor visits is doing a lot.”
“Recuperating takes lots of energy.”
“You are spending your time wisely, by taking steps fighting for your life.”
“God is guiding your steps, and you are following His path.”
“Just take one step at a time, and take good care of yourself.”
I hope this post has been an encouragement to you as you negotiate challenging times.
I’d Love to Hear from You
What impacted you from this post? What helps you get through challenging times? How do you encourage yourself when discouraged?
Please leave a comment below and share with those who could benefit via e-mail or on social media.
If you resonated with my article, please subscribe to my blog. You will get a free copy of Top Ten Ways to Be Your Own Compassionate Friend, which will enrich and improve your life!