Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Surgery miracle today!

Dear friends,

I am home, she did my hysterectomy and ovaries laprascopically as it didn’t look like cancer. They are doing the pathology on it to be sure. And there was an amazing thing that happened that I attribute to the Lord and your prayers.

After I signed in and did all the question answering, the doctor came back in and told me that there had been a mistake made. For some reason the bovine mesh wasn’t ordered and that takes 2 days. She didn’t want to do the procedure with any other materials as she has had so much success using it and the other methods all create their own problems. She said I could come back next week if I wanted and apologized profusely to me. She said that they were calling around trying to find some, but so far that wasn’t working.

I told her I needed to just do it today and if I couldn’t have the rectal seal repaired today, then that would have to go undone for now. There was just too much planning to set up today. I also said that I was going to pray that they would find some, and that God could do that.

When I woke up, they told me that they had found the mesh and that she was able to do that repair, and that I had the LASH hysterectomy which is the simplest kind for healing. So I told them all what that meant- that God had answered our prayers. Probably not cancer and the mesh was found in direct answer to prayer. I was very excited.

I am extremely sore but am doing well. I passed all the tests to be able to come home. My bladder would not empty enough, so I came home with a catheter. They will remove that on Friday in the office. I just want to sleep, but wanted to tell you the great news first. Isn’t God great?! Thank you for your love and prayers! Blessings- Nancy Fritz

Hysterectomy tomorrow- 11-28-07

Dear friends,

It is the eve before my hysterectomy and removal of my ovaries. My doctor is also planning to repair a sort of hernia in my rectum which causes that bodily process to be a hassle. I have had that situation at least since Jesse was born 16 years ago, and she plans to insert a “bovine mesh” to strengthen that area. Hmmm…It sounds interesting, doesn’t it? This procedure was described to Greg and me on Monday during my pre-op appointment. Dr. Ravacia is clearly a gifted and very intelligent doctor. She knows her stuff!

The main goal tomorrow is to get out especially my left ovary which has a complex cyst on it. We are hoping to hear Dr. Ravacia tell us there was no cancer and that I will only need a laparoscopic hysterectomy, and thus the faster recovery. The rectal repair requires 2-3 months of not lifting more than 10 pounds, but I will feel fine, so again, discipline will be the focus.

I GOT MY SLING OFF TODAY! I saw my shoulder surgeon and he is very happy with the progress I have made with my shoulder. I am even beyond his expectations on my arm movement. I get to begin resistance exercises next time I go to PT. My shoulder is hurting today because who else could put the ornaments on the tree in the right place without the girls here? The house is decorated in and out as I know I won’t be able to do it later. The basement isn’t set up yet, but I have helpers who will help to get that set up for everyone coming for Christmas.

Greg, Jesse and I drove on the 11th and 12th. I drove the last 4 hours myself and it went fine with my shoulder. I visited with friends, went to Bible Study, met with a few friends about the curriculum I am pulling together, got to go to our Denver church and be with my girls! I can never get enough of my kids! Greg’s sister and I spent some time together and went to Savers, our favorite thrift store. Sadly, they don’t have Savers in Spokane.

Sunday before Thanksgiving, I was given a very fun surprise 50th birthday party. Thank you to all who had a hand in planning and coming to that. I know you may think so too, but I really do have the most fantastic friends!

Our driving was uneventful and smooth with Greg and me driving in the truck, and Jesse driving the van. On the trip back we left early on Saturday morning and stopped in Montana overnight. We got home about noon on Sunday. The van had to go into the shop yesterday, but is working again. It began having problems when we were close to home, so thank you for praying! That could have been a much bigger problem.

As I put the tree together and put on all the ornaments, the waves of memories that accompany them poured over me. The memories of making many of them with the kids, those that were special gifts from friends, the one that is our house in Pasadena, the ones with pictures of the kids at various ages, and the ones obtained in other parts of the world or at memorable events. It is a snapshot of my and our family’s life in a way. Collections like this are put together over time and tell a story. The new Partners International VP of Development was here tonight with his wife for dinner, and it was fun to have our first Christmas company. Even during recovery, I hope to have many people over this month. The ladies from my new Bible study from church are bringing us meals while I am limited, and we are so thankful for this new community of friends. They are special!

I will try to get an update posted tomorrow night one way or another. Greg’s phone number is 509-990-8479, if you want to call him for an update. He plans to be at the outpatient surgery center connected to Sacred Heart Hospital with me all day tomorrow.

Thank you for your love and prayers! Blessings- Nancy Fritz

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Colorado or bust!

Dear friends,

I got a call tonight from my doctor with the test results from last week. She said that the biopsies from my uterus are benign (Praise God!), and the complex cyst is still on my ovary and hasn't changed since 6 weeks ago. So, she can do the LSH ("Lash") type of hysterectomy that is laproscopic and has the shortest recovery. She told me to expect 10-14 days of recovery. So on the 28th of November surgery will be at 7:15 a.m. and she said I will be able to go home at the end of the day or early evening. She said 10% of the time women need to stay over in the hospital, but probably I will be able to come home that night.

I have my pre-op visit with her on the 26th. I'll write again and let you know more details on how to pray after that. We leave late tomorrow morning for Denver. I should be there by Tuesday evening. I am looking forward to visits with friends and family. Allison and Jenni fly in on Saturday and then Laura next Tuesday. We will be with Shelby, Greg's sister and her family for Thanksgiving. I am so excited!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Since it falls near my birthday, that makes it especially fun. And this year I turn 50. I made it to half a century. When I first found out that I had cancer 8 1/2 years ago, I wondered if I would make it for even a few years. So even though I have to be vigilant and had a recurrence last year, I am still here and kicking and appreciating every day the Lord chooses to give me.

I am grateful for my family, for friends and family, for a meaningful ministry, for a lovely home and new friends in Spokane. I am grateful for all of my blessings and am thinking of my connection to the Body of Christ in the hard parts of the world- Africa, Asia, etc. As I have met those who are regularly persecuted for their faith and still stand strong, I thank God for the place He has put me/us. I am sensing my need to be a good steward of the blessings I have been given.

May you have an incredible Thanksgiving hopefully with those you enjoy and love. I will write again after we get back. Our travel days back will probably be the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving if you would like to pray for safety and good weather. Thank you for your prayers! Blessings- Nancy Fritz

Friday, November 09, 2007

Surgery November 28th

Dear friends,

It has been an interesting week. First of all on Sunday the Sermon met me right at my heart level. As I listened to Pastor Rob, he told a story of when their son was born missing a chromosome. He is a special needs child, but even though members of their church were offering to help them, he kept telling them no even though they were exhausted. Finally, he said that the Lord used a friend to exhort him to let the Body of Christ bless them. And Rob then let their church help them through that difficult time, and it was amazing for them and for those who were able to bless them too.

As I heard this, I was thinking that after all of my shoulder limitations and friends at the Partners office taking turns bringing us meals, I felt like I just couldn't tell them about ANOTHER malady right on the heels of the last one. It was just too much. Tears were flowing as I was feeling weak physically and like I am getting attention from people we have just met because of those needs. The big word here being "needy." I like to be the one helping others, and especially if I am just meeting them!

On my way to Sunday school I ran into the two leaders of the Bible study I am in on Tuesday mornings. They offered to do meals this time and let the Partners International family have a break. The 21 ladies in that group are stepping up to the plate to take care of me. Their love and care brought even more tears. Marlene and Liz are blessing me like the church did Pastor Rob's family. I have to die to my pride and let the Lord's power be shown in my weakness.

I had a test Tuesday to check the inside of my uterus for any problems. She took some biopsies and I should get those test results Monday. Yesterday was a repeat of the ultrasound I had 6 weeks ago, so she will have a current picture before surgery. I will get those results Monday from Dr. Ravacia as well. Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, November 28th at the crack of dawn- 7:15. I need to be there 1 ½ hours early. They told me to expect 10-14 days recovery which means I should be doing very well by Christmas. She expects to be able to do it the laproscopic technique which means I will be able to come home that day and not have to stay in the hospital. Sounds great to me! If the tests from this week showed that everything disappeared, maybe I won’t have to do it at all. I will be sure to keep you posted.

We have a new honorary family member. Lindsey Reitsma knows our family from Denver and she is here at Whitworth. She is a junior and education major. She has adopted our family and we have fallen in love with her. She has offered to help me get the basement fixed up and also to decorate for Christmas. We made cookies and cake on Sunday together and talked and talked. Our own girls said that Lindsey is not allowed to be in the daughter of the year competition, but that we could make a separate category just for her. So now with no time before my surgery to do these things that need doing, I have a friend to help.

I am working on a curriculum for kids about the Dahlits in India- the outcasts. I am planning to be in Denver January 6th to teach this lesson to about 150 kids at Cherry Hills Community Church. It is a hard thing to teach children since the situation with the Dahlits is so unfair and hard. I had a breakthrough this week on how to approach this, and am pretty excited. Please pray for the Lord’s wisdom that I will be able to get across these concepts to kindergarten through fifth graders. Jon Lewis, the president at Partners, also wants what I come up with, as there are Dahlits being ministered to in this PI network also. Many churches that give to Partners are looking for materials they can use to educate their congregations. This may turn into a series of lessons on children in many parts of the 10/40 Window eventually, but for now it is this one curriculum. This sounds strangely like mobilization, doesn’t it?! Since that is what I have done for 27 years, I’d say I am in the right place!!

My shoulder is doing well. I am right where expected on my angles of mobility. I do my exercises 3 times every day and am allowed to wash my hair with two hands now if I bend over. I wear my sling almost all of the time and have only a few weeks to go before getting it off. My PT, Marc, just told me that I will be adding activities gradually by percent, so I need to calm down about my after sling plans. What, more patience? I am grateful that movement is increasing and know that it would never have gotten better without surgery. Pray that I will be patient.

We leave for Denver on Monday and will stop half way there. Jesse and Greg will drive until we get to their hunting turn off and then I will drive the rest of the way to Denver by myself. I have plans to see lots of family and friends there. The girls are all flying in and out of Denver, so we are all going to be together. Yeah!

Blessings to you! I will write after I hear test results from Dr. Ravacia on Monday.
Happy November! Nancy Fritz 509-990-8465