**DAY 29 POST TRANSPLANT & 36 STRAIGHT DAYS IN THE HOSPITAL**
These last six days have been some of the most spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting that I have ever experienced in my life. They have compared quite equally to those first few weeks that we found out the our little Hazelnut had cancer, and I never thought I would experience anything like that again. I have been praying very specifically over these last days, but maybe not in the way you think. Of course I have begged for my daughter's life, but Aaron and I have also had the understanding that it is not in the doctor's our our control, but only in His. He has given us so much assurance that whatever happens with Hazel, be it she beats this thing or that it takes her life, that He has a bigger plan and we get to be a part of it. Whatever the outcome, we have complete faith that it would give Him the most glory and that Hazel and we could celebrate with Him in that. But aside from imploring God on our daughter's behalf, I just simply asked Him to make His presence known; to just show up. The first few days I felt so alone and my faith and hope that I have clung to were tested and shaken. But my God is an AWESOME God, and boy did He deliver!! The very next day, after tearfully saying this prayer, we became inundated by all of your messages of prayer, faith and encouragement. Hazel's page has gained almost 30,000(!!) new followers and we know that she is being lifted up in all corners of the world! This has been such an encouragement, and I don't think you can understand what it means unless you've been where we are, so thank you from the bottom of my heart!
He has also revealed Himself in so many small ways over these last six days, and one really sticks out. My father-in-law, Jerry, was out to lunch with a friend, and they were talking about Hazel. His friend had literally just finished saying "She is going to get through this thing" when Jerry opened up a fortune cookie and read this:
Now, I am not one to take stock in what I read on my fortune cookie, and I do not presume to know that this must have been a message from God. But I do believe, with all of my heart, that He used this little message on a piece of paper to speak to our family, in order to bring us hope. And each day He has continued to give us more hope, when only a few days ago I thought there was little or none to be had.
Hazel's condition continues to be serious, but so many little things are improving and continue to lead us in the right direction. For the first time, the doctors seem to have more hope than concern and seem to have a much more positive outlook for her. Here is what is happening:
- The CVVH machine is doing exactly what it is meant to do, and her body is tolerating it well. Hazel cam in with so much extra fluid on her body (about 9.5 pounds of it!) that her normal 50cm belly has been measuring about 65 cm!!! Over the last few days it has come down, and today I am happy to report that it measured at 56cm! Our God is working miracles!!!
- Because the fluid is being removed, her lungs are improving every day. The X-rays she has been having every morning have revealed less and less fluid retention and they continue to go down on the ventilator and she is even taking several breaths on her own! She will most likely remain on the ventilator the entire time she is on the CVVH machine, but this is a good thing. It is allowing her body time to remain stable and rest so that God can heal it.
- The ultrasounds on her kidneys have revealed that nothing has gotten worse, and the labs that tell us how they are functioning keep going down, which is a sign of improvement. We had another ultrasound done today, but we still have yet to receive the results.
- Her bilirubin has remained stable and has not increased dramatically (the sign of liver failure) and her labs indicating liver function continue to look good!
- The BK virus levels in her blood keep going down, so hopefully she will kick this virus soon! She is still having some discomfort and there are still problems with the clots in her bladder; but until her fluid levels are under control, there is not much for urology to do except keep an eye on it. That is one thing I have learned over this last month, that there is so much "watching & waiting" and it drives me crazy! I have to constantly remind myself that God is in control!
- The doctors believe that in about 3-5 days time, they will have removed the extra fluid from her body and will begin trying to take her off the machine to see if her kidneys and liver are strong enough to do their job once more. So hopefully, we will have a lot more concrete details and answers at that time.
The last two days have been filled with so much more peace and hopeful news. Please pray that we continue to stay in this "right direction" and that she will make a full recovery!