Thursday, May 26, 2011

Transition update and California here we come!

Dear friends,
(My Mother's Day Flowers from my kids!)
Job Update
     Greg went to Houston today to meet with one of the ministries he is very interested in. He needs to see them face to face to figure out if this is a match or not. We have been asked by another ministry if we would be willing to move to Seattle. And there is another one we heard from as well today. I think by next week we might have more of an answer regarding what the next step will be. We are grateful for these options that are exciting and strategic. Moving isn't that appealing, but we could if we had to. These opportunities cover a gammet of fully supported to paid to mixed. Please join us in praying for discernment as we make this huge decision. We are officially done at Partners June 30th.
California Trip Thursday- Tomorrow
      Tomorrow Jenni and I go meet Allison at the end of work at 4:30 and head for Monterey to see Jesse for the weekend. He has 4 days off and we are all excited to get to have time with him. On Monday morning we will take Allison to the airport to fly back to Seattle, and Jenni and I will leave on Tuesday morning for Los Angeles. Jenni will visit the friends she lived and churched with last summer during her internship, and I will visit supporters. Then we plan to drive back to Spokane the following Monday (June 6th) for 2 days. We would appreciate prayers for safety in travel and to be able to make connections with family and friends along the way. The oil in our Toyota Yaris is changed and new windshield wipers are in place. We are looking forward to this adventure.

Health Update
     I have lots of news here... My sore left knee is hurting because of a bone spur on my knee cap. I will get injections at the end of June-beginning of July in both knees. Not steroids, but a material that pads the joint. That helped for 6 months last year and should relieve the problem at least until after China. My oncologist urged me to do what I need to to keep myself moving and not let bad knees stop me from exercizing. My knee is popping, but not all the time.
     I saw my surgical oncologist last week. She went over my PET scan, followed up with an ultrasound and everything is clear! I had my annual appointment with my oncologist this Monday and she explained that the right side of my chest is getting smaller because the chest wall is pulling tighter due to the radiation there. The actual TRAM flaps which are primarily fat tissue from my stomach, are basically immune to the radiation. There is nothing to do about the assymetry. So she prescribed a small form I can put into one side of my bra which makes me even. My clothes fit much better now, and I am very grateful! What great doctors!
     My neuro stimulator for my bladder is working fantastically. No problems at all. Another praise. I am so grateful to the Lord for providing relief for this problem. I really don't even notice it working much at all. I tried turning it up and turned it back down after I was feeling it too much. All went well at the airport. I went in the scanner where your hands are over your head. That is the safe one for devices like pacemakers.
A Travel 'God Moment'
    Greg and I traveled to Jenni's graduation. As we were getting on the plane in Spokane, I heard someone say, "Nancy!" I turned around to find Karol Evans, one of our supporters and a dear friend, getting onto the same plane traveling back home from Spokane where she was visiting family. After the plane took off, she and Greg switched seats and we talked a mile a minute the whole way to our layover in Denver. We were thanking the Lord for this divine appointment. To be on the same airline, same plane and at the same time. What are the odds outside of God doing it? Amazing!
Jenni Graduated!
    Jenni is now an official mecanical engineer! It was an outdoor ceremony and rained. Indoors would have been very hot in the gym and Laura Bush spoke, so the crowd was huge. Here is Laura Bush.

 Anyway, it was a special time. We helped Jenni move out of her dorm and had a picnic under a pavilion with Jenni's France friends and their families. (France girls below) Greg and I had a nice visit with Dr. Linda Christie, who is a Grove City prof of Laura's who has become a dear friend of ours over the years.
     Jenni passed her certification test, and graduated caum laude. She is waiting for her security clearance to get done so she can work at Bettis Atomic Laboratories in Pittsburgh, PA. She hopes to start at the end of June.     
      Greg thought it would be smart to check out the housing market and see if she could invest in a house rather than renting. The short story is that she is in the process of buying a small house in Forest Hills! It is skinny and tall and includes a separate apartment which she will be able to rent easily since she is close to 2 universities. She will also get a roommate to share the rest of the house with her. The Lord seems to be opening this door for her. We are shaking our heads amazed at the amazing deal and how all has gone smoothly so far. We hope it all works out with inspections, etc. She is excited to set up her own home.
     Laura is doing well. She put on a conference in England for Musahala recently. It went well and 150 people attended from all over the world. She is back in Israel now.We are still trying to figure out where Allison should get married since we don't know where we will be next April.
     So there is the update. Email me if you have any questions that I didn't answer with this. I am going to sleep and finish packing. We had our first humming bird yesterday! God bless you. Nancy Fritz 509-990-8465

Monday, May 02, 2011

Transition continues...

I left you with a cliffhanger the last time so I will fill you in....

Neuro inplant went great!
Greg and I arrived at the hospital at 10:00 as we were told to a week ago on 4/22. Well, I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since midnight, so as time kept passing, I felt more and more wilted. I think I finally went in at noon or so to get prepped. Surgery had gone slower than planned that morning, so that was the tie up. Anyway, once the IV went in I felt better and everyone was wonderful. We had been hoping and praying for an anesthesiologist who would understand Dr. R's need for me to be somewhat awake so she would have the added assurance that the "lead" or wire was placed correctly by getting my input about what I was feeling. The doc. doing the annesthesia was fantastic. She understood completely and all went perfectly. I had no pain and remember flicking in and out to give them the answers they needed. So all went very smoothly.

As I expected, I was very sore for a few days and moved slowly. The bladder "pacemaker" is about 1 1/2" to 2" below the surface in my right hip. I can feel the constant background hum of it working but don't notice it without thinking about it. I was taught how to use the remote, which has a few different programs on it. I go in to have it checked over on Thursday this week. I think it needs to be turned up more, so we will do that then. As far as healing, it is still a little tender on the spot where the device was put, but not much. So thank you for praying for this. I have an official card that I am to carry all the time, and have to stay away from the screening machines at the airpirt from now on. I will test how that goes next week when Greg and I fly to Jenni's graduation at Grove City. I think I may need to have a med alert bracelet made.

Since we won't be at Partners much longer, that means health insurance will falll completely on us to pay for. That will be a huge expense. I have a few more doctors to see before that happens to make sure all bases are covered. I see my oncologist and breast surgeon later this month. I don't know why but the right side of my chest is getting smaller or the left bigger so that now it is about a 1 to 2 ratio. That is new and if nothing else, it is getting harder and harder to get clothes to fit. I also have a sore left knee after falling on it a few times this winter- on the ice.

This weekend, Allison came home to visit. It is her birthday today and yesterday was her fiance's (Tyler). She did a work project with Greg on Saturday morning and we had a nice birthday dinner Sat. night. Yesterday Greg and Allison ran in the famous Bloomsday race in Spokane. I helped at the Running Water booth at the race helping to raise awareness and donations for some clean water projects for Africa and Indonesia.

So here is the situation... We don't know where we will be living in a year when she will be getting married. If we are here, we have lots figured out. But if we need to move, things get really complicated. She has ordered her dress online and it should be here at the end of the month. It is beautiful and we can recommend some inexpensive websites if you are in the market! Jenni will be here then before she goes back to Pittsburgh for her engineering job in late June.( Jenni asked for prayer that her security clearance will go through smoothly. If it doesn't, it could cost her her job.) Anyway, one transition is to figure out where we will be living, and where to plan the wedding.

But before that happens, we need to figure out what the Lord is calling us to do next. A Christian leader and friend visited us last Monday and gave us some very good input on questions to ask ourselves to help us in our search and decision making. PLEASE PRAY for us as we do this. We are very touched that a friend and co-worker at Partners told us he is doing a 40 day fast to ask God to guide us to the next thing. He is also praying for Partners. We received word on Saturday that a $585,000 gift has come in which will help the ministry out of the truely critical financial situation we were in. We are so grateful to the Lord for showing His desire to have PI survive.

Greg is working very hard these days, listening to the Lord and talking to people. Pray for him to be discerning and for me to be quiet when I need to be. We don't have the luxury of time to figure things out. Our support base is at approximately 50% of what it was, and we will be dependant on that to pay the bills including our insurance premiums. God is big and has always taken care of us, so I know I can trust Him. But I am feeling vulnerable. It takes time to raise support. We do have the best team in all of history though!

If you know me, you know that I really have peace deep down inside, and sometimes just have to feel how I feel. And I process things out loud. I don't hold much in. So know that, and don't worry about me- just pray for me to rest in the Lord. I feel sorry for the weeds I just pulled out of the yard before I wrote this! The Lord and I were communicating as I wrestled with them. It was healthy.

Well, I need to get the guestroom ready for Pastor Noah from Timbuktu who Jesse worked with 2 years ago in Mali. We get to have him overnight. Our friend who is fasting told me that he thinks one of the most significant things the Lord did during our 4 years here is the relationships He has established with our international partners and with the staff. I agree with him. When asking the Lord if we should come here, He told me He was offering me a gift- that it would be like receiving a platter of my favorite desserts. Well, those desserts clearly represent the amazing brothers and sisters He introduced me to during this time. Noah is one of those. I am so very rich for the these experiences and relationships.

I will let you go for now. Thank you for praying and caring. God bless you!  Nancy Fritz