Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Doman family medical update and gratitude

     Yep, I named this post the "Doman family medical update and gratitude"  It's sad, I know, but that's what we're dealing with for the next month, lots of medical stuff.  So here goes......

     Abby-  Abby is finally feeling better!  She hasn't had a sore throat for a couple of weeks now and I think we've finally figured out to treat her GI issues!  She's still on the steroids, but she's at the bottom of the taper, so hopefully, she's almost done!  She worries about her cheeks and the weight gain they cause, but she also understands that they're a necessity to treat rejection.  Her only problems right now are that she's still feeling a lot of fatigue, she still gets occasional swelling in her legs and feet, and she's having intense headaches in the evening whenever she stands up.  I'm hoping the headaches and fatigue are just from her coming off of the steroids. We decided the swelling is just something that she'll have to deal with.  We go back to clinic on Monday.  We're hoping that everything looks good and we won't have to go back up for at least a month.  I think they'll take her off of a couple of her meds again too, one of them is Valcyte which prevents CMV.  Abby just better not get CMV again when she goes off of it, I let her know that this is not an option :)  It's nice to see Abby feeling better and to know that we'll for sure be home for Thanksgiving.  Last year, she had a surprise echo the Tuesday before Thanksgiving so we were worried we wouldn't be able to come home.  But, this year, unless something really weird happens we will be here!!  Yahoo!

     Brock-  Good news here, lots of good news.  We went to Brock's pre-op appointment last week.  He is scheduled for December 5th.  The good news is that he will only need surgery on his left ankle, the right ankle injury from the game a couple of weeks ago should eventually heal on it's own, hopefully he'll be able to walk on it again before December 5th because he won't be able to put any weight on his left ankle for 6 weeks after his surgery.  The other good news is that when Dr. Leitze first saw the MRI, he thought that he would have to cut into Brock's ankle to fix it, but after he researched it, he decided that that's not the case, it can be an arthroscopic surgery.  He just had to order some unique, special tools that should be able to reach the OCD lesion and fix it.  There is an 80-90% success rate with this kind of surgery......Brock just better not be in the other 10-20%, I've also warned him that this is not an option either :)  After 5-6 weeks he'll be able to walk on it again, and then we'll start physical therapy.  We're hoping by March he'll be able to start running again and start preparing for the next football season!  5 weeks on crutches is going to be horrible for Brock (and the rest of us) but he'll just have to tough it out.  Maybe he'll even be throwing the shotput this year too, he would be great at that!
     I was proud of Brock this week when he was awarded the Desert Hills High School lineman of the year award.  Brock was excited and felt honored to win that award.  It wasn't an easy award to get, There's a bunch of good lineman on the team, so it was especially great.  Brock's lucky because not only does he have the heart and drive to be a good football player, but he was blessed with physical attributes as well.  You see Brock and you think, football player, he's one lucky kid, but he works his guts out every day as well....both during the season and during the off season.  He works hard and is extremely driven.  He's already missing playing basketball this year, he's been playing since he was 4-years-old, but we have to get his ankle fixed, there was no way he could play on it again this year.  Maybe next year he'll be able to play again.  We're hoping for an easy, successful surgery.

I'm such a lucky mom!

Brock and Coach Franke-Brock loves all of his coaches.  He looks up to them and I love that they are all such great examples for him.  He knows that they are always watching out for him and will do anything for him.

Britt- Britt is getting her tonsils out on December 13th.  I've had a lot of people ask me why she's getting them out right now while things are so crazy for us.  Believe me, it's not a choice, we really don't want to do it.  In September Britt got an abscess on one of her tonsils that almost needed to be removed surgically.  The ENT told us then that Britt needed her tonsils out ASAP.  Unfortunately, Britt is also in college and can't just miss class, especially with all of the credits she's taking.  She also needs to maintain a high GPA to keep her scholarship.  Her Christmas break begins the week of December 13th, so that's when we have to do it.  She really doesn't want to get her tonsils out either.  The doctor looked right at her and told her to plan on at least 2 weeks of moderate to severe pain, it's not going to be easy.  Britt doesn't wake up from anesthesia well either, it's not going to be fun, but it has to be done.  At least we know that this is a one-time thing, once they're out, they're out forever!  She'll be okay, I don't think it's going to be as bad as she thinks.  Hopefully, she'll be feeling better by Christmas.

Me- Physically, I feel great.  I don't need any surgery, and I never get sick.  My only problem is that I keep getting big knots in my shoulders and neck, but that's nothing a little massage here and there won't cure.  I know that I carry my stress in my shoulder/neck area, and the massage technicians always love to inform me of that as well.  If there's anything I do need, it's probably a  psychiatric evaluation!  No, I'm just kidding, I'm actually pretty good right now.  I felt sorry for myself for a while, then I got mad, but now I just shrug my shoulder and say, "Whatever, bring it on, we can do it!"   I am not currently winning the weight loss battle though.  I'm just maintaining, and that might have to be okay for a little while.  Losing weight is hard enough when you don't have a bunch of other things to stress about, trying to lose at stressful times is almost impossible for me.  Abby and I decided that we're going to start running and try to work our way up to running a 5k.  It should be fun to get in shape together.

     We, as a family, have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.  Even though it's been harder to remember those things lately, I know they're there.  I'm grateful that we get to be home together almost this whole break and we don't have anything scheduled until Sunday when Abby and I have to go back to Salt Lake for clinic. We need some down time.  I'm so grateful for my friends that I work with at school.  I can't tell you how many times they've had to cover for me when I've been stuck in Salt Lake or had to leave in a hurry.  They make my job so much better.  I'm thankful for my job.  I love teaching school this year.  My classes are incredible and I love teaching them, it's really fun, in fact, I have a blast teaching.  I love it.  I'm grateful for our house and the neighborhood we live in.  I love where we live, and we are surrounded by great people.  I know they are always willing to step in and help out whenever we need them.  I'm grateful that my family all lives here in St. George or in Salt Lake and that we get to spend time with them often.  We probably take this for granted, but I know a lot of people that aren't able to spend time with their family this Thanksgiving,  and that would be hard.  I'm so, so incredibly thankful for my "heart family."  They completely understand what I'm going through and know what to say and do, they know just what I need to hear.  They can relate to my ups and downs because they've been there too.  I'm always thankful for them.   I'm always thankful for Abby's transplant team and all they've done for our Abby as well as my family.  I know that I can always rely on them to do what's best for Abby and her continued care.  It makes me feel better knowing that I can always trust what they do.  Especially this time of year, but really always, I'm grateful for Abby's donor and their family.  I think of them often, almost daily.  Without their selfless decision, Abby wouldn't be here with us, and that's something that I'll never forget.  I will never forget how grateful I am for them, they're always close to my heart.  At the top of my thankful list is always my 3 kids.  Even when they're trying to push me to my max, like they are this month, I'm still so thankful. I think I'm the luckiest mom alive!

     A few weeks ago, when I was having such a hard time and feeling so sorry for myself, a good friend sent me this quote.  It helped me get out of my funk.  I told her that I would post it on my next blog for any of you that hadn't heard it before.  She told me to just insert "Child with a life-threatening disease" instead of a "Child with Cancer."

By Erma Bombeck 

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. 
Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with life threatening illnesses are chosen? 

Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. 
As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger. 
"Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecilia. Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint Gerard." 

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and says, "Give her a child with cancer." 
The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy." 

"Exactly" smiles God, "Could I give a child with cancer a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel." 

"But, does she have patience?" asks the angel. 

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. 
Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it." 

"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has it's own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to be easy." 

"But, Lord, I don't think she believes in you." No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness." 
The angel gasps -"Selfishness? is that a virtue?" 

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take anything her child does for granted. She will never consider a single step ordinary. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice...and allow her to rise above them." She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side." 

"And what about her patron Saint?" asks the angel. His pen poised in mid-air. God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year.  Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers for my family.


  1. I was just asking Jill for a Doman update last night! I hope you all have a very blessed holiday season. With everyone on the mend it should be mello. I'm sorry Britt has to get her tonsils out. I had mine out at 23 and it was so miserable. BUT I didn't get a sore/strep throat until 2 weeks ago. Well worth it. Get some numbing drops for her ears, and run the humidifier to keep her airway moist. Good Luck Momma Nurse! Love you guys!

  2. Wow what a month you have in store!! I know for a fact that your kids are grateful for YOU!! Happy Thanksgiving to the Doman Family!

  3. what a beautiful quote! You can do this! We are cheering for you!