Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just hold on....Just let go

I've spent a great deal of time over the past few weeks thinking and reflecting about our journey over the past two years. In a way, the time seems to have passed so quickly. It is hard to believe that two years ago today-on 11/6/2008-Mark and I visited UK for his initial visit with the Transplant Team. But, in other ways, it seems like our life has been turned upside down for so long. It is hard to remember exactly what life was like when our thoughts were not consumed with worries, our house wasn't cluttered with dialysis supplies and medical equipment, when the most common greeting received wasn't "How is Mark feeling?", and when the most frequent conversation didn't center around transplantation. Our sense of normalcy has drastically changed. The life we now live is so different from what we would have imagined. At times, it is difficult not to become angry and bitter with the situation. Over the past two years, there have been several times when Mark and I have asked "why?", "why us?", "why now?" As silly as it sounds now, I really was not expecting to learn a few weeks ago that none of Mark's three potential kidney donors were matches and that it may be difficult to find a match for a third transplant. I guess I felt like we had suffered enough and had waited long enough for something to happen in our favor. For two years now, I've been living with this "JUST HOLD ON" mentality. "JUST HOLD ON...if you can find a living donor and Mark can get transplanted before he is on dialysis, it will all be OK." "JUST HOLD ON....even though the first transplant wasn't successful, if you can find a second living donor, Mark can be transplanted again and it will all work out." "JUST HOLD ON...even though the first two transplants didn't go as we had planned, if we can get you referred and accepted by Hopkins, it will eventually work out." I have realized that in the midst of my "JUST HOLD ON" mentality, I've never truly "JUST LET GO" of the situation and fully given it to God. I've been so consumed with the "next step" and concentrating on what I could do to make it all go away....from praying and praying that I would be the preparing and planning for the first transplant... to reading everything I could to better understand Mark's health... to making sure that all appointments were scheduled and all tests were complete... to analyzing insurance options... to planning short term housing for our family in Baltimore if Mark was transplanted at Hopkins. Just recently, I've come to terms with the fact that there isn't a "next step"...that a third transplant may not be a part of God's plan for our lives. I've also realized that always focusing on the "next step" and constantly looking to what lies ahead often leads to not completely trusting God and truly relying on Him in the present. In many ways, Mark and I have been waiting for something positive to happen to restore his health for so long that our waiting started to interfere with our living. I have realized that I do not want anything to put my faith on hold. I've got to "JUST LET GO" and start completely trusting God today...not waiting to trust Him when something positive happens, but relying on Him now and trusting that He will guide us and protect us even if a transplant is not a part of His plan for our lives.


Anonymous said...

Your words are POWERFUL!
Having experienced a similar situation with my brother, I fully understand what your lives have been like the past 2 years.......
God will bless you for giving it over to Him and trusting Him totally.
My prayers will continue for you....that you and Mark will sense that unexplainable peace that passes all understanding. My heart aches for where you have been and rejoices that you are His children for whom he has infinite love and compassion. I know your declaration of total trust does not come easily......and that doubts and fear can so easily creep into your mind and spirit....but He will sustain you.
I continue to pray for you and Mark.

Anonymous said...

Kellie & Mark,
Wrote on here the other day..but didn't get posted..
Just wanted you to know that you show the example of faith..that is, "letting go" doing are placing Mark totally in God's Hands and you are willing to let God give you all guidance in whatever comes.
Just know that many people are praying for Mark & you all and there is strength in prayer!.We love you!
Hope you all enjoy your family get-to-gether at Thanksgiving!
Praying always!
Jane & Tom Cawood

Anonymous said...

I am inspirted by you and your families' strength. You have been through so much and yet maintain such strong and positive attitude. You set an example that everyone should try to follow. Know that I think of you often.

Love from a long lost cousin...Gwen Root

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog today was like reading my own thoughts and words. My husband Tony had a kidney transplant in 1991 after a year on dialysis. For 13 years we had a 2nd chance at a normal life - raising our kids, living our life. In 2003 Tony found himself back on dialysis. It's now been 7 years and still no kidney. 13 trips to Dallas on the hopes of having a transplant each ending in a devestating no. We spent most of last year in Rochester, MN at the Mayo Clinic part of their Positive Cross Match Transplant clinical study. Many patients have received their transplants. But, we returned home in December 2009 with no transplant. Dissappointed is an understatement - to us and to Tony's donor. We too have talked many times about the normal life we ache for. But, so many times we have seen God working through Tony and his illness. Through our weakness His strength is revealed. In 1990 when at 25 he first had kidney failure I prayed that God would allow us to raise our kids together, that I could see Tony walk our daughter down the isle at her wedding, that we would enjoy our grandchildren together. Over the past 20 years we have seen all of these prayers answered - our kids are grown, our daughter and oldest son are married, and we have 8 grandkids! God heard me then and I know he hears me now. It's been a year now since we came so close to a transplant for the ump-teenth time. We don't know if Tony will ever get another transplant or what the future holds. "In sickness and in health" has no meaning to those who have not traveled through both. Although we may be "in sickness" right now, one day we will be "in health" again. Whether it will be on this side of heaven is not up to me. We live each day with an appreciation and a sweetness that only our Savior could provide. Thank you for sharing your story. It's nice to know that we are not alone on this journey. Hollie

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know that prayers are still being lifted up for Mark and you.........prayers from someone you don't know, but who has been touched by your struggle.
I thought of you on Thanksgiving Day.......praying that you would be able to thank God in the midst of this incredibly difficult and frustrating journey. God will give you the strength.....he did for my brother. Prayer is powerful......I am sure that I am only one of many who pray unceasingly for Mark's return to health.

Kellie said...

I want to thank all of you who follow our blog and continue to pray for our family. It gives me great comfort to know that so many people...some we know closely and some we have never met...pray for Mark. It also is comforting to know that others have shared the feelings and emotions we've experienced throughout the past two years. Your thoughts, comments, and prayers are a blessing to me.


elmergui said...

Hello there.

First of all I want to tell you that I am not an English Speaker since I am from Spain, so I may make some mistakes.

Well, I am 45 years old and despite of my age I am already retired because I had a kidney trasplanted 21 years ago, and now I am suffering some other little problems due to the side effects of the medicines. But, even though I have those little problems my life improved a lot and nowadays I nearly have a normal life, I mean that I can do nearly everything.

Anyway, I am sure that Mark will be lucky soon, will have his new kidney trasplanted and will be able to live a new life as I am doing.

Mergui from Spain.

Anonymous said...

Praying that 2011 will be a good year for the three of you.......praying for renewed health for Mark, continued strengthening of your faith, and that you will feel the overwhelming and indescribable loving arms of our Lord wrap around you, letting you know He cares and He is in control as you "let go and let Him"!

I still pray that Mark's body will be able to receive and maintain a healthy kidney....God has placed you on my heart (and the hearts of many others) and I am trusting Him to engulf you in His love.

People who knew my brother still speak of the grace that God gave him as he dealt with his need for a kidney transplant.....God is doing the same for Mark and you.

I am hoping that you can enjoy today as you welcome a new year together. Happy New Year!