Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just in case anyone wonders!

I got to thinking that I left our story without letting you guys know how much I've fully recovered. I now only have a tiny bit of tumor left and was cleared for a year... I go back in April of 2010 for another MRI. I also have almost all of my facial movement back. I have just enough paralysis left to remind me of how good God has been to me.

I want to post a current picture so you can see the change. (We'll see if I can figure it out ;0) Anyway .... just didn't want to close the book on our story without telling you how well I'm doing. I sure am thankful to be alive and each day is a beautiful blessing. It's a lot easier to "not sweat the small stuff"... brain surgery puts things in perspective really quickly. Love, Tracy

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Made It!!!!

I made it to Christopher's wedding - I WALKED down the aisle and stayed up late!!! (stayed until 9:30pm!!!) Just thought if anyone is still checking they'd like to know that it was an incredible night watching my oldest marry his sweetheart. God is so GOOD. Thank you, Lord.
I will try to get Jeff to post a picture from the wedding later.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

End of the Road

Well... never thought I'd be a blogger but stranger things have happened (esp. in the last few months!!)I am on the mend and don't want to continue boring you with little details so this will be my last blog. I still look forward to your visits and phone calls though!!

I have been overwhelmed with the love and support we have received through this journey. I know I've said it before but THANK YOU all for all you have done. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me next. Maybe we will write a book!!! There is so much I want to share and am still processing myself. I hope that in the next few months I can share with others just how awesome God has been - as I know you know that. I keep looking in the mirror and thinking here I am "God's modern day miracle" - When I get discouraged I just remember that "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" -the healing process is a miracle in itself. In that sense we really ALL are His miracles - He has made us so incredibly. To think I have a big ole hole in my head and my brains aren't leaking out :) Some of you may question that but it's the truth.

It's funny how the little things have come to mean so much. A quiet dinner, a ride to town, a friend's phone call, reading the Bible, journaling, visiting with family and friends - things I have taken for granted or crammed into a busy schedule. I hope and pray God will never let me forget the things I've gained from this experience. Maybe my scar will serve to remind me. (His nail scarred hands remind us of all we gained at His expense) Well, I feel like I am babbling so.... just remember how much you mean to me. We have copied the whole blog and I've saved every card and email and will enjoy going back through them all. Thanks again, precious ones. I love you. I'll be seeing you around. Love, Tracy Ann ;>)

I'm sure Jeff will have a farewell blog too so hang tight

Monday, April 21, 2008

just a little something

Hey guys - if I get started I will never stop so for now know that all is well in this little world of mine. thanks to those who have called, stopped by, brought dinner etc. It does help break up my day and every day I am getting stronger and back to my old self (oh no!!!) As soon as this eye starts to blinking I think I will be able to do a lot more. i am typing with my glasses on and a bandana over my right eye so I can focus -things are still blurry from the gel I put in my eye. I can't wait to see all of you. Thanks for being a part of this miracle with us. You are precious to us. Love, Tracy :)

Like Mother Leaving Her Child at School the First Day

That is what I felt like today. I left about 4:30 a.m. to get to Austin. I stayed there all day, well until about 2:00 p.m. anyway. But when I called at 7:10 a.m. to make sure Bethany was up and going (I knew she would be), I felt...well... distant. I know that sounds like a pun, and technically, it is, but I felt the distance. All I could do was talk on the phone. Anything that happened, good or bad, would be beyond my ability to do anything about. (You know, you just can't write that sentence without putting the preposition at the end and it still sound right! Sorry grammar teachers of America.) (I know, I know, I could rewrite the whole sentence, but come on...).

And besides, Tracy's great Mom was taking care of things. But, mothers, you know it doesn't matter how much someone can show you that things are taken care of (oops, another misplaced preposition. I think the rules need to change.) you still feel what you feel. Oh my gosh, I'm turning into a woman! Aaaaggghhh. If you were in my Sunday School class Sunday, you would have heard me talk about mothers who say, "I'm a mother" to justify their worrying. Ok, now look, I wasn't really worrying. I just wanted to be there to take care of her. When I called about 1:00 p.m. and she hadn't eaten lunch and wasn't sure what she would do, (She can make it well enough, but there are potentials for problems there, you know.) I wished I was there to just take care of it. That's not worrying, it's just love. There, that ought to get me back in line a little ... yeah right!

She really did fine. She wrote a few of thank you notes and slept. We have learned from our experiences, and from some of you, that she's gotta sleep a lot right now. That's ok. She is really doing great. She walked on the treadmill again tonight and she went a least a mile if not longer.

She takes naps during the day, but call her if you can or want to. She will be home alone mostly. That may not be all bad, but she still can't do a whole lot for very long without wearing out. It makes for a long day.

Man, I forgot something I wanted to say to you. Oh well. In the immortal words of my mother, "Well, it must not have been very important." Goodness a mercy!

Hi Dad!


Friday, April 18, 2008


We have a friend, a friend of Tracy's from college, who has an illness that keeps her in constant pain, real pain, unbearable pain. It started with an accident probably 10 or more years ago. Doctors can't stop the pain. Nothing works, spinal blocks, nothing. She lives that way every day. Committed Christian family. Pain all day, every day, doesn't stop. It has changed her. How could it not?

My dad: back and neck problems so severe, he is never out of pain and he can't work; came from that pull-yourselves-up-by-your-own-bootstraps-take-care-of-yourself-make-your-own-way generation; proud man who lost the opportunity to engage that which his generation said is what gives you pride. Then he gets throat cancer and loses his vocal cords. Then, essentially home bound, he is one of less than a hundred in Texas to get West Nile Virus. What in the world? Now, he requires assistance for basic tasks.

You know this page could be chock full of more examples.

"There but for the grace of God...".

"I complained about having no shoes until I saw a man with no feet".

I'm sure there are more maxims, but you get the point. Tracy and I have been blessed by God and man for the extreme circumstances we have been through. Admittedly, they are extreme in the sense that it is a relatively rare occurence. It is life changing, dramatic, traumatic, time and energy stealing, debilitatingly expensive, emotionally and spiritually challanging and so much more.

Our experiences, however, have been easy. They have been easy, because God allowed it to be easy and you have supported us in every way. We have been complimented on how well we have dealt with this event. We are not heroes of faith. We have been carried through this whole deal by God through your prayers. We have ridden on a wave of God's love expressed in and through His people. What if God gave us the harder path? What would we do, what would you do, if this went on for 10 years? What would I do, what would you do, if for the next many years, Tracy required constant attention? And what if she had a bad attitude about it, because that was just part of it? How long before it got old? How long before the help and assistance offered got to be a burden? What about those people whose challanges are not physical but emotional? What about those who have weak characters - they drink too much or gossip or are stupidly arrogant because they are so ego needy - because somewhere in their lives, they were hurt, and they have not accepted the strength to overcome it, yet. What about those who live in fear and those who love their things?

Are we blessed because we believe? What about those who believe, but do not receive the blessings? It is the Daniel vs. Jeremiah condition? One, an exalted prince, the other a prophet in a dungeon. Which servant of God would you choose to be?

Forgive me, please. You can see I am rambling some. But we are not special. We are just one of the many who have needs...and our needs are not so pertinent as some...and we have been incredibly provided for by this family of God in ways that make this easy, not desireable, but manageable. Tracy said the other day that she was concerned that she was forgetting to consider God, not in an eternal or angry sense, but because of the difficulty of the constant irritations of her eye, not being able to bend, being tired all the time, spinal fluid leaking, and all the stuff with which she must attend to with this condition. It must be a literal, active effort to "keep your eyes on Jesus" when it hurts, or it's hard, or you keep losing ground or get beat down by life, health, work, parents, whatever anyone's particular struggles are.

Everyone has something. And everyone's something is as bad for them as someone else's something is for them. That may sound kind of weird, but the point is our tragedies are relative to our ability to handle them and what we are given to handle them with. For instance, Tracy and I have been held gently in your praying arms and thus our struggles are lighter. But, you know that not everyone gets that. Jesus said, "the poor will always be with you." I think Matthew 25:31-46, the parable of the sheep and goats, shows us that this is true about the sick, the hungry, the imprisoned, etc. also. There will always be those with needs, of some kind. And Scripture also shows that not every believer lives as an exalted prince during their time on earth.

So, what is this all about, Jeff? I'm not exactly sure, except that for the last 3 weeks I have had all my focus on handling our issues. And as we begin to surface, I see everyone else... Oh, wait, a weird image popped up: The Titanic is sinking. I put all my effort into saving my family and other people help me. That is my whole world until I have them essentially safe. Then I look around at all the other people bobbing in the water and know they are struggling, too. Imagine the scene: some are just floating in the water; some on wrecks of wood, or whatever; some in lifeboats; some to afraid to jump from the sinking ship, and on and on in your own imagination. Remember Francis Schaffer's question: How shall we then live?

Maybe I am feeling a little guilty, because we got it so good. We don't deserve it this way. We didn't do anything to merit this abundance. Once again, it sounds a lot like salvation. But there are others who don't get to have it this way. I don't know why. It just is.

Here is what I know. Tracy and I have been extremely blessed; by God and by His people, we have been given the light burden (Matthew 11:28-30). We have believed His word and lived in the promises of His peace and strength. We lose sight sometimes, but God has never lost sight of us. So what do we do? Love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. This sums up the Law and the Prophets.

I could go on and on, but it's afer midnight and sometimes you just gotta stop.

See you guys Sunday, I hope.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ophthalomogy Report

Dr. Horton saw Tracy today and she was so very kind and sweet. She knew immediately what to do for Tracy. I was not there (I am a little frustrated by that - bad decision making on my part), but Tracy and her Mom did fine without me, of course. First, Dr. Horton said use only eye drops that are preservative free. Secondly, any eye drop that has Benzalkonium chloride is a no-no. Don't use it. Actually, that is what was causing Tracy's blurred vision. Get this. The vision was blurred because of the chemical irritation of those drops and from exposure.

So, Dr. Horton has Tracy putting a lot more of the Lacrilube in at night and during the day if she needs it. That can't be overdone. Also, she wants a much tighter and bigger patch at night. She also said she had no concerns for Tracy to get a lazy eye and not to worry about it.
If these procedures don't work well enough, some more extreme measures can be taken. They might include a contact that would hold the moisture in once the eye drops were put in the eye; suturing the corner of the bottom eyelid to the top eyelid, which would help it close; and a water chamber, which is some kind of instrument that would actually keep the eye hydrated.

Tracy says her eye all ready feels one hundred percent better.

So, Tracy had a big day today. She'll be pretty tired tonight. Her mom took wonderful care of her while they were out and about today. She had to be out a lot and it was comforting to know her mom was there.

Kinda short today, but got to get to bed to get up early for work. However, I am coming back home early tomorrow.