Negotiating Challenging Times

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!

24 thoughts on “Negotiating Challenging Times

  1. I love this post so much. The application for myself seems endless. My husband and two children have what we believe is familial dilated cardiomyopathy. There have been lots of tests for my husband and 16 year old. It has been emotionally challenging as this is a change in diagnosis for the kids. So remembering to ask for God’s help and trusting Him for the outcome AND doing our part on testing, research and heart healthy lifestyle is such an important partnership. Navigating unknowns is emotionally taxing and God is helping me have wisdom to support them emotionally. Thank you for being honest with your process so that it benefits others in an exponential way. ♥️

    1. Hi Jana,
      Thanks so much for your comment. I’m so delighted my post was helpful to you. So sorry you and your family are dealing with all the stress and medical testing you are going through. Being the support person is so difficult and emotionally taxing. Many blessings to you and your family.

  2. Good morning! What a blessing to receive a blog with the news of your testing, tentative date for getting on “the list” and your amazing accomplishment of losing the weight that is required. I cannot even imagine how difficult this has been for you. But, you and God did it together.
    “What I’ve Learned” in today’s blog is especially powerful. You write from experience and give us such valuable lessons that will enable us to face life’s challenges more boldly with God while giving ourselves the necessary grace.
    The love letter from Jesus is especially powerful. We all need to allow for His messages like that to fully penetrate our hearts.
    Love and prayers….always….

    1. Dear Ann,
      Thanks so much for your encouragement about my blog post. You are so right, God and I are doing this together, and I am grateful. So appreciate your love and prayers my friend.

  3. What a blessing this post is. The update, scripture, and the encouragement touched my heart. Good to know new specifics to pray for. Thanks for taking the time and energy to post.
    With much love and much prayers,

  4. Congrats on the weight loss… no easy feat, as you say, when you can’t exercise it off!
    3/4 through = and going strong… well done 🙂

    I love the lessons you have learnt through this process and love thta you share them with us.

    Early 2019 will be here before we know it 🙂

    May God bless you continually, as you enjoy life as fully as possible, and continue to teach and bless others with the lessons of your journey.

    My love and prayers,

  5. As usual, Kim, there is a lot of caring, godly wisdom in your writing.
    So glad to hear that things are progressing and big congrats on losing that weight! wooo hoooo!

  6. Kim, your posts are so encouraging. May God bless you as you take one day and one thing at a time and trust Him with the big picture. I am so encouraged to witness how much He uses you as you go through challenging times. This inspires me to do the same.

  7. Thank you for sharing Kim. My challenging times are nowhere near what yours is yet still, I need to be reminded of ADONAI’S wonderful goodness and grace to us: To remain connected to and with Him for He is our sure foundation and our strong fortress, this is our way through the challenge, for He is our shade and our shield, He goes before us, yet He is our rearguard – He surrounds and envelopes us.
    Shalom, in all the fullness Yeshua gave it, and prayers for you Kim.

  8. I had a hard day today and it was such an encouragement to me to read your post! “Do your best and trust God for the rest.” Is such a good reminder for me. I was in a situation that I couldnt totally control and it was very comforting for me to ask God what He wanted me to do and then be sure I did it (or remind myself that I did it when my mind started to churn) and realize that He will take care of the rest! Blessings and prayers, Kim!

    1. Dear Jeanette,
      I’m so delighted that my post was just what you needed. How wonderful you were able to do your best and trust God for the rest. Great job! Thanks for all your encouragement!

  9. So good to read your update, Kim. I am glad for the progress you are making toward completing your tests and losing weight! Bravo! I see value in
    practicing to “discipline my mind to not focus on the challenges facing me, but to focus on God and how He will help me…” Excellent! I, too, am less apt to become overwhelmed if I resist looking at all my challenges at once! Carry on, Kim! May God continue to make you brave as you persevere!!

  10. I read your blog this morning. It does sound challenging! I think allowing myself alone to accept my limits is huge. You are a warrior of a gentler spirit! A gentle warrior. Being kind to yourself while resting after a test(s) is so wise; and while I’m sure it isn’t much of an option to not do so, to be kind and understanding with yourself is sooo right on. And personally, because I care so much, I’m glad you aren’t being hard on yourself. Learning all this, practicing self compassion all these years, is wonderful preparation for you and all of us. I’m encouraged!! Thank you for being a wonderful role model! Love to you, friend.

    1. Dear Katie,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to encourage me. I so appreciate your comments…very encouraging to me. I think God has prepared me through practicing self-compassion to get through such a difficult time. He is good to prepare us for what lies ahead. Love to you too, dear friend.

  11. Thank you Kim for your honesty and encouragement. What a blessing you are. I am learning to be gentle with myself, and trust God!

  12. Kim, I feel like I met a friend today. I first read your article on the Pulmonary Fibrosis site, then explored your posts on the web. I too have PF, just diagnosed in Jan 2018. I’m digesting and trying to “live one day at a time”. The last 10-12 yrs have been trauma filled-a divorce after 32 yrs, losing my mo and fa (both to Alzheimer’s) plus an aunt and uncle—all who I’d provided care for since remarrying, moving 200 miles, helping renovate a house and now this diagnosis. Just previous to all this, I spent 3 mos in the hospital with a “revolving door in and out of critical care units”. Only by the Grace of God did I survive complications from abdominal surgery complications, knowing I faced another surgery to put me back together a year later. I’m a fighter, although a quiet one. But it’s all catching up and while I try to stay positive and am only in the “mild” stages of PF, it’s hard not to think about what lies ahead. I struggle with guilt because I know there are others who have lived with much worse. I look forward to reading your blog and your books! Thanks for your encouragement. I pray that your work-up will result in two healthy lungs when the time is right!

    1. Hello Karen,
      So lovely to meet you. Thanks for taking the time to encourage me 🙂 Wow, you have been through so much. I’m so glad your faith is encouraging you and keeping you strong. Wishing you the very best!

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