Home Again, Home Again

Yesterday flew by fast. We had our last breakfast at the Residence Inn, did our final packing up, watched our last episode of The West Wing, (A friend of Suzanne’s loaned us the complete 7 season DVD set) spent time with Gay and Roger, and went to the airport. Scott and Suzanne handled my bags. We tried to get a pass for Suzanne to walk me to the gate but they wouldn’t give us one. They called a wheelchair for me instead. I felt a little silly. I mean. I can walk! But when he wheeled me to the front of the security line, took my shoes and coat and bag and put it all through for me, had me simply walk through the detector and then sit on a bench until he was finished, and then handed me back all my stuff I was sold. And of course my gate was the absolute furthest possible so I was thankful for the ride.

The flight was uneventful and Rick, Meagan, and Mark were waiting for me at the gate. Apparently RDU is more accommodating than O’Hare!

It was so wonderful to be with my family! And I even came home to a clipped and groomed dog, a clean house, beautiful flowers and cards and the most beautiful enormous basket full of gourmet snacks, lotions, notecards, restaurant gift cards, candles, etc from our wonderful Crossroads Sunday School Class. Seriously, you’ve got to see this thing! Each thing was wrapped individually. The picture won’t do it justice!

Today I slept clean through my alarm. the kids managed to get to school without my help. (Sadly I guess they are used to it by now!) I went to Chapel at Trinity where the wonderful Sam Jackson told our story through our blogs and made the gospel come alive for the Upper School students. Then some friends came over for lunch and a visit. We had yet another wonderful meal delivered and now we are about to watch the Duke game. I’m tired but fine. And so very thankful for my wonderful friends and all the love and support you have given me and my family!

Gay continues to improve daily. Here are our latest pictures from yesterday. She looks magnificent!

Rick posted here, and he now has a button where you can subscribe to his blog.

Love you All!



Camp Recovery

Scott sent Suzanne the following text this morning:

Good morning Camp Recovery. Conditions are green for evac in t-minus 6 hours. We value your missions success!

Scott will pick us up this afternoon to take me to the airport. They will make sure my bags are checked and I get to my gate ok. I can’t lift anything more than 10 pounds so lifting suitcases are out of the question.

Camp Recovery has been good. I will be sad to leave Suzanne and Gay and Roger. The Residence Inn has been an great place to recover because I have absolutely no responsibilities except to eat, sleep, and well…recover. I admit I will miss a deluxe breakfast laid out every morning, maid service every day, and Suzanne anticipating my every need. The nurse warned me yesterday about that. She said mothers especially tend to start feeling a little better and then the next thing they know they are hauling laundry baskets around and they develop a hernia. Or they do a little too much and end up exhausted and sore in bed the next day.  I would like to say that I would never do such a thing but I admit that sounds like something I would do.

Pray I can continue to recover well, follow doctor’s orders, and take it easy when I get home. I am so so excited to see Rick and the kids. It will be marvelous to sleep in my own bed and eat in my own kitchen.

Gay continues to get good reports. Her ultrasounds all show good blood flow to the liver which is great news. Her bloodwork continues to improve and she looks better every day. Here are some pics we took yesterday.

rick has some “shout outs” here

Love you All!


Released and Some Randomness

We just returned from the Transplant Clinic and I am released to go home! Everything looked fine. They will follow up at one month and two months with bloodwork drawn in Durham and I will return to Northwestern for a three month checkup. I am so incredibly thankful for how well my recovery has gone. God has been gracious and as I said before I have felt your love and prayers every step of the way.

The visit was actually a little anti-climactic. Suzanne said they should have given me a tiara and some roses. I’ll settle for a flight home tomorrow! Here is a picture of me and the Nurse Coordinator who walked me through this whole thing from last October to now.

Today was our coldest walk to date. Let me just say that Chicago wind is FREEZING! Here are a few random observations about my time here.

1. I’m glad my packrat tendencies prevailed and I kept my warm down coat even though I never need it in NC

2.  The whole tucking-the-jeans-inside-tall-boots thing makes alot more sense in the snow.

3. It would be much more fun to stay in the city for two weeks if I felt good the whole time and could eat whatever I want. We are right down the street from the John Hancock Tower, Water Tower Place, and the Drake hotel. Primo real estate. But we did manage to have a little fun here and there anyway.

4. Suzanne is the most excellent nurse and companion that any liver-donation-recuperating girl could have. She had served me selflessly and taken great care of me.

5. Again, I am so thankful to God and to all of you. To Him be the glory. To you a great big THANK YOU!

So tonight we are planning a piece of Giordanos’ pizza as our last hurrah. I’m so glad I am finally to the point where I can have one!

Love to you all. For those in NC, see you soon! ~Sonya



On Organ Donation

Yesterday and today have been good. Sleep was better Thursday night and amazingly better last night. I still woke up at 3:00 am but was able to get right back to sleep. We have been walking alot which is just what the doctor ordered and helps wear me out and sleep. My appetite is improving too.

Gay is doing well. She went back to the hospital today just to have blood drawn but has had a restful day at our home away from home.

I mentioned a few days ago that I’ve been thinking more about organ donation. Seeing Gay recovering and living now with a functioning liver is an absolutely amazing thing. And seeing Howard Matson healthy and not dependent on additional oxygen was another sweet and inspiring moment. So I just wanted to take a moment to encourage you to look into organ donorship and talk to your family members about your wishes should you die. About 100,000 people in the U.S. are awaiting an organ transplant right now. Here is an article from the Mayo Clinic you might find helpful.

And on a lighter note I have seen more snow than I have in years.

Here’s a post from Rick too.

Love you, ~Sonya

Today and Where I Was Not Last Night

We went to the clinic this morning and they took blood and looked at my wrist. They said I have a superficial blood clot. No worries. It is not the kind that can break off and wreak havoc. I just have to put warm compresses on it. The intestinal issues are apparently par for the course. They explained that the digestive track is the first to go to sleep and the last to wake up. And apparently it’s a little grumpy as it wakes up.

After the clinic we walked back to the hotel and stopped and window shopped at Tiffany’s. It was good to be out in the city and walking felt good. Then I really needed a nap.

I woke up at 3 am and never got back to sleep last night. Not sure why. Nothing was hurting and I felt ok. Tonight I’ll try a hot shower and chamomile tea before bed. I would appreciate your prayers that I sleep through the night tonight.

Gay is doing better. They are still watching her liver enzymes and she had another ultrasound today. Blood flow looked good. You can read about it here.

For those of you in North Carolina who have been asking about meals, etc. Jan Hoyle has set up a care calendar. You can go to
(Calendar ID : 66360, Security Code : 6928 )

And on another painful note. Look where I was not last night. Don’t they look miserable? Like they miss me so much that they can’t stand it? Like they can’t have any fun without me? And seriously, they went to a Duke game without me??? Shouldn’t they have stayed home and felt sorry for me?

Duke vs. Temple (Without Me!)

Miserable Children Missing Mommy!

Thanks and LOVE, ~Sonya


Reality Check

Welllll….Today was a bit hard. I will spare you the details but I was sick, and let’s just say I no longer need prunes. I insisted that Suzanne could go exercise and I would be fine. I took a shower, and was throwing up when she came back. She may never leave me again.

Woops. I said I would spare you the details.

One other issue is that I have a red, swollen, painful lump on my wrist not far from where one of my IVs were. So we called the nurse coordinator and they will see us in clinic tomorrow morning. It’s probably an infection. I was concerned about  a blood clot but she assured me that it is not.

Meanwhile Gay spent all day at the clinic having blood tests, getting one drain out, receiving IV fluids. We just saw them and we are all wiped out.  No pictures today, but let me assure you that they wouldn’t be pretty!

Please pray that Gay can stay hydrated, that whatever is going on with my wrist would resolve and whatever is going on with my intenstines would resolve. And pray for a good night’s sleep for all of us.

Thank you Dear Friends!  ~Sonya