Monday, November 24, 2014

Congratulations PMP Survivor Micheal Smith

A few days ago I posted a photo of Bob Peterson, our number one helper in finding Dr. Brian Loggie. Then I posted a photo of husband in his biking outfit: Dr. Loggie’s called husband his Poster Boy. (I did, too.) 
Before PMP I said to a friend, “My life is a box. I go to work and come home. Everything is routine.” She told me to read the Prayerof Jabez and ask God to broaden my ministry—I did.

Look what happened.
PMP patients, Dr. Loggie and Me 

In 2005 Sandy Smith from Seattle, Washington emailed me. After I shared husband’s journey she asked for information about the Hallelujah Acres Healthy Diet  (vegan diet) husband used before finding Dr. Loggie.

Michael Smith after surgery with nurse 2005
Sandy sent me the photo of Michael after surgery and now look at him nine years later. He's the picture of health. congratulations to Michael.

You look great Michael and you, too, wonderful caregiver Sandy. 
Sandy and Michael Smith, nine years after Michael's MOAS PMP surgery. 
More info on PMP and being a caregiver can be found in my book:   

Capsules of Hope: Survival Guide for Caregivers

Dr. Brian Loggie, MD 
The foreward is by Dr. Brian Loggie 

And yes, I'm Still the Lionhearted Kat 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dr. Brian Loggie's PMP Poster Boy

Desperate for information about Psuedomyxoma Peritonei (PMP) in November 2003, I sent a desperate message to a website where the creator of the website had not posted since 1998. I hoped someone might read my post and respond.

Bob Peterson emailed me. He invited me to the I was the 17th person to sign up for the group and Bob became our encourager.

Sometime before husband’s surgery in 2004, Bob flew into Omaha for his checkup with Dr. Brian Loggie at Creighton Medical. Bob invited husband and me for dinner. Bless his heart, Bob didn’t know how financially strapped we were by then and he paid for the meal. 
A professional phot of Dr. Brian Loggie

Bob encouraged Gary (husband) to trust Dr. Loggie. He shared his own PMP journey with us. How he’d followed Dr. Loggie from one location to the next because of the doctor’s expertise. 

Gary did have surgery in February 2004, the week after our 43rd wedding anniversary.

Two memorable incidents before husband’s surgery:

A sweet nurse rolled husband toward surgery. “Oh, Mr. Crawford, you have such pearly white teeth.”
Husband popped out his teeth and handed them toward her. “You wanna use them? I won’t need them for awhile.

The second, when husband looked at Dr. Loggie and said, “Doc, I do believe you will see a miracle today.”

When prepped for surgery we were told it would take somewhere  between 13-17 hours, but nine hours after they wheeled husband away, Dr. Loggie showed up. He grinned at me.

Dr. Loggie's poster boy, Gary Crawford
“Mrs. Crawford, I do believe I’ve seen a miracle—I believe we removed every bit of PMP cells.”  

More of this story is found on my "More Than a Caregiver" website and in my book Capsules of Hope: Survival Guide for Caregivers.\

Husband lived seven more years (to the day from the first time he told me he had a problem). He did not die of PMP. My dear hubby of almost 51 years died of a sudden heart attack. 

It's hard to believe November 25, 2009 will be five years since husband died.

I first set my cap for Gary L. Crawford at Bible School at age 10. That’s lots of years to love one of God’s chosen people.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sharon Understands What I Can't See

Sharon Bushey 
Sharon Bushey and I met at HACWN last year and I bought her book, Meagan’s Heart, a true miracle story. This year Sharon became a miracle in my world when she sat by me at the Friday night dinner.
By Sharon Bushey 
In a  few minutes we reminded each other of our connections. Her husband, a Church of the Nazarene minister, retired from ministry at age 55. They didn’t know the problem at that moment, but soon learned he had Lyme’s Disease and almost died. Today he’s in remission.

My husband retired from being a Nazarene pastor at age 53 because of an physical, emotional and spiritual breakdown. He did recover from the breakdown and God used him until he died at age 70.

After a few mouthfuls of wonderous food, Sharen said, "“I heard you were having problems with your eyes. What’s happening?”

“I have double cornea transplants—”

“So do I,” Sharon said.

“You do? I’ve never talked with anyone in my situation.” I felt tears filling my eyes. In a few words I filled her in on the history. Transplants, infections, laser surgeries, glasses that left me unable to drive at night or in the rain and then how chemo left me unable to drive again.

 “In 2012 the eye doctor said, ‘I can’t help you, but I know who can.” He sent me to a doctor who fitted me with hard contacts.”

“I wear contacts also.” Sharon smiled at me.

“Really? But you wear glasses.”

We chewed over why the glasses and then I finished my latest problem. “Last Friday the latest contact ordered did not fit. The doctor said she’s out of options and going to consult with another specialist. Maybe laser treatment or surgery might help.”

“A year ago my eye doctor told me I’d need a new transplant in one eye,” Sharon said. “He suggested I needed surgery for a disease in the other.”

I can’t remember who Sharon said prayed for her….but no surgeries were required until recently when the doctor removed an old stitch still in her eye from years ago.  

Tears kept pooling in my eyes. “Sharon, you know what I can’t see. No one else truly understands.”

Even while I write this I know God placed Sharon in the empty chair next to me.

“There was a time when a woman in our church got mad at me because I didn’t recognize her.” Sharon’s voice escalated. “I couldn’t see her. For nine months I walked around legally blind.”

“It’s so hard to even grocery shop,” I said. “All the people walking around make me dizzy. Even here in the hallways at HACWN I want to barf. (Yes, I know I should use vomit, but barf is what my stomach feels.)  
Pat Mingarelli snapped this photo in 2011, Even with glasses I didn't see well. 

Sharon assured me she would pray for me. The next morning my sweet friend
Sally Danley, the registrar for the HACWN writers conference, prayed over me while Norma Donavan, Teresa Tierney and Jeanie Jacobson placed their hands on me and joined her in prayer.

For whatever reason, I’m not healed—yet. But we all know God’s timing is for a purpose. I choose Joy on this Journey while I wait for the medical world to decide what’s next.

Still Lionhearted, Kat

PS I do have a contact for my right eye that gives me enough vision to drive on a sunny day and to work for a few hours. Unfortunately, the prescription is only a bit better than my glasses and it’s the best that can be done.