Saturday, February 02, 2008

EARTH-WEARY AND HEAVEN HUNGRY?

After four hours of sleep, I decided to write. My doctor re-prescribed steroids, and they steal my sleep, and that's after an Ambien send-off to La La Land. But they keep the brain swelling at bay—which causes unbearable pain and nausea. You wake up thinking, As soon as my fireworks-mind shuts off, maybe I can get a nap. It rarely happens.

Early this morning as I lay in bed sleepless, I formulated the order of this article/post. But they vamoosed. I have recall of magnificent words, don't you think? I'm winging it...

NOT TALKING MUCH

Milton says I don't talk much. When pain is hammering your head, what is there to say? Or, when your days are spent in bed or on the recliner? Or, when you go to a plethora of doctors' appointments and see that universal, pitiful, carefully masked look in their eyes, knowing what I'm facing? (There's also compassion.)

MY HAIR AND HEAD

My hair is still falling out, a nuisance to deal with. Another physical problem has joined the myriad. Radiation to the head fries/burns the scalp. Pencil-eraser-sized flakes gather on my shoulders. Stars in a velvet sky. Awful for someone of a my persnikityness.

Radiation to the head can cause tooth decay. Milton took me to the dentist this week. Fortunately, the problem had already cleared up. The dentist looked at me through compassion-filled eyes as he examined me. He said to postpone my long-held February appointment to start replacing several old fillings. Is he thinking I won't be here too long, a natural feeling for people, given my circumstances? At the receptionist's desk, the receptionist told me the dentist said there would be no charge.

CAN'T DRIVE

The neurosurgeon had a gripping way to give this instruction: if a little old lady is crossing the street and you don't see her due to your vision loss, you could kill her. And that was before the new vision loss.

MORE VISION LOSS

Monday, January 28, was my red-letter day. I was going to work on "the story of my heart" after the interruption of 30 daily radiation treatments and brain surgery for GBM brain cancer. But I struggled to read (and study) that day. I knew it was an eye problem and called the eye doctor. A field vision test revealed I've lost more vision--now 1/2 in both eyes. (Keep reading for what this entails.) I always had the idea peripheral meant "extra" or "not needed." Not so. Cover your left eye. Stare at an object in front of you. Slowly bring your right hand to your nose, counting your fingers as you do so. On the right side, I am seeing the width of the computer screen with the addition of a few inches, in the right portion on both eyes. It's a blank after that, unless I turn my head. "Is it a blackness?" my brother Terry asked me. "Is it tunnel vision?" I said, "No, it's just not there."

However, when I bring my head out of just the periphereal vision (where it was for the test), I can see better. But that part of your vision is so important. I almost walked into a woman the other day. I didn't see her. When I pick up a knife to slice an apple (or whatever), I sometimes cut with the flat edge rather than the serrated one.

My eyes have "floaters," what I dubbed "my angels." People-sized. Kitty-cat-sized. Chair-sized. I've discovered "angels" are what my eyes last see as they sweep across the right side of both eyes. Perhaps I "see" them that way because I'm a writer with descriptives ways. The vase of roses waved at me yesterday. The stack of books by my computer twirled and doci-doed like the dancers at my line dancing class. My kitchen cabinets hang open wanting to smack me the in the head.

WORD MIX-UP

Sometimes my words won't come out right, or they come out slower, which frustrates this tornado woman. As Milton drove me to the doctor, I pointed out a new neighborhood. "They have a lot of enemas," I said, then quickly added, "I mean, amenities." We got a chuckle.

Sometimes I see a "b" for a "p" or vice versa, as well as other letter mix-ups. Makes for some interesting reading!

SCRABBLE

Milton and I played Scrabble last night, one of my favorite games. After 15 minutes, I said, "Let's finish this later." It was too mind-wearying.

CHURCH

I want to go to church Sunday. Headaches and nausea kept me away for two weeks. I sit on the front pew. Will the congregation see the skin flakes on my clothes? Will they notice how thin my hair is? Will they notice my raccoon eyes?

THE MOST LOVING CONGREGATION

They won't notice those things. They are the most loving, gentle, caring congregation on the face of the earth. They have brought evening meals to us for three months. Their offers of help and acts of lovingkindness are unparalleled. Their prayers strengthen and sustain me.

MY BRAIN GROWS WEARY

As I write, it's the wee hours of the night. Will I catch some more ZZZs if I lie down? I already tried that for two boring hours. Or will I be wide awake for four hours, like last night, again? And now my head is feeling "tight."

SOME GOOD NEWS

The doctor said my best time will be one month from the end of the radiation treatments. That's the end of February. I hope to get a streak of writing done, and I will keep attempting until then.

21 Comments:

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

Good morning, Kristy. I'm up early in Kansas and praying for you. I hope you were able to get back to sleep. My husband is in Orlando on business, so between you and him, there are lots of prayers going back and forth between Kansas and Florida. : )

The blog you and Milton and your daughters have kept has been such a beautiful testimony to God's faithfulness. Thank you for taking the time to do that in the midst of all you're going through.

Keeping you lifted up...

 
At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Kristy,

I'm praying for your healing and will continue to do so. Even though your doctor said the pain would stop around the end of February, based on how quickly you recovered after your brain surgery, I'm asking God for another miraculous recovery for you. (It won't be the first time you & He surprised the doctors!)

I thank you and Milton and your lovely daughters, other family and friends for posting heartfelt prayers and thoughts. As you've traversed this most difficult journey, through all the ups and downs, your love for Jesus ALWAYS shines through.

May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding be with you and yours today and always. May He shine His face upon you. And no more pain, Lord, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Love you always,
Nancy

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Thanks, Deborah, thanks, Nancy, for your kind and encouraging comments. And thanks to all who commented this past week. I was too sick to sit at the computer.

God bless you for your prayers. I can feel them surrounding me.

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Karen Eve said...

Kristy,
I know music is a great comforter and healer. One of the songs I sing, especially during times of crisis when words fail me is 'Everything is in Your Hands'. I sing the verse and the refrain, then I start singing the verse with the names and/or conditions I am praying for. Somehow it's healing for me. You may be familiar with the song, but for you and others, here is the link:
http://www.justworship.com/worshipsongs/everythingisinyourhands.html . Not sure if it will come through as a link or if it will need to be cut and pasted.
Possible additional verses:
Kristy's past and her present, and things yet to come
All these things are in your hands, each and every one.
We know you can heal her, cause her pain to cease
We trust you Dear Jesus, show your healing power please.

chorus

Kristy's vision and her stories, all her work to come
We place these things in your hands, help her get them done
Extend her life oh Lord, relieve her pain today
Show your glorious healing power in Kristy's life we pray.

chorus

Maybe someone else can add a verse...

God Bless,
Karen Wevick

 
At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristy,
This particular blog posting is the most amazing writing I think you ever have done -- and you are an accomplished writer with an impressive body of work. This tops it all. It is real, it is raw, it is unvarnished, it is eloquent, it is first class. Those descriptions also fit you (except for the raw part, although I know you're feeling that way right now). You are one of the most authentic people I've had the honor to count as a friend. Bless you. I hope the end of February brings relief. My heart and prayers are with you, Milton, the girls and your families on both sides. I hope to see you soon. Love, Kathy

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger Kay said...

You are still in my prayers. The Lord bring you to mind frequently and I lift you up to Him.

May you swim in His grace -- no, drown in it. Take it into your being and be fully engulfed in it.

May His mercy rain down on you and bring with it complete physical healing.

May His peace sooth you and give you sweet sleep.

May His presence give you joy.

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger Robin Bayne said...

Thank you for the update, it is amazing that you had the energy to share all this with us. Keeping you all in prayer.

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Daughter of the King said...

(((( HUGS))))
For YOU....from me in the Puget Sound,,,,

I don't know if I told you but my younger brother is walking this PATH too.......GBM 4......

You know before you even read this the Trumpet could sound...and we would be outa here...

I am rapture ready as I know you are and that is my prayer...

Deby
Seattle'ish

 
At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Milton said...

Deby: I pray for healing and strength for your younger brother. May the loving arms of our Lord that have been such comfort and help for us reach out to him today in a very new and special way.

Milton Dykes

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Kristy and Milton-
As the wife of a minister who was diagnosed with Leukemia and given only a 20 % chance of surviving, I know the shock and pain of where you are.

My husband is still here.... you are still here, Kristy. Together, we will continue to thank God for your presence, pray for your healing, and give God the glory for the life we were each given!

He will never fail us. Never.
Blessings~
Lisa

 
At 5:44 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Thank you, all, for your comments. They are a blessing to me.

Kathy, from writer to writer, you gave me the highest compliment possible. Thank you for your prayers and love.

 
At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Norma McGee said...

I am amazed at this latest blog. I pray that you are able to sleep all night and feel well enough to go to church.
Heavenly Father, I ask in the name of your Son, Christ Jesus, that You would heal Kristy and restore her completely. I pray that You would give her rest. I pray that strength would quickly return, that the swelling would diminish rapidly and that Kristy's eyesight would be restored completely.
Much love, Norma

 
At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Mary Jo said...

Dear Kristy,
I pray that tonight you will have sweet sleep and tomorrow you will be feeling well enough to attend church for this is your heart's desire.
Father,
In the Name of Jesus I lift Kristy up tonight. Lord, as I join in prayer for her along with many others, we are petitioning You for her total healing. Lord Jesus, by Your stripes we are healed; and we're claiming that healing for Kristy. Lord, I know you created her brain and are well able to heal her brain and all complications. Lord, we know that medical science is limited in their ability, but You are not limited. You are all powerful! We are believing You today to totally eliminate the cancer cells from Kristy's body. Father, in the Name of Jesus, we claim that Kristy's mind is renewed and more intelligent than ever before and her vision restored. We're claiming that she will be a testimony of Your healing power. That she will have a healing ministry and be the means for many others to experience Your healing power in their bodies. Lord, I stand in agreement with Kristy, Milton, the girls, family and friends of Kristy that Your healing power is flowing through Kristy's brain right now TOTALLY eliminating the cancer cells. I pray that as Your healing power flows through Kristy that the cancer cells dry up and die - NEVER to torment her body again. This I pray in the Name of Jesus - our Healing Jesus! Thank you, Lord, for hearing and answering our prayers today.

Love you, Kristy.
Mary Jo

 
At 10:15 PM, Blogger Daughter of the King said...

Singing this for you, dear sister in Christ...


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

Deby

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger Alexzillasmama said...

Dear Kristy,
I "met" your daughter, Jennifer, this past summer on MommyZone. She is a very faithful young women and I am sure that she is one of your strongest prayer warriors. Ironically, I did not visit the MommyZone site for a few months, but I felt a strong, inexplicable urge to check her blog in November. It was shortly after your diagnosis, so I knew that God led me there to join the multitudes that are praying for your family. From the beginning, the passion that your family has for the Lord captured me with each and every journal entry.

I will continue to petition God on your behalf for painfree days and sleep filled nights. May you feel His arms around you each and everyday. For several years, I have dealt with the ups and downs of Lupus. There is NOTHING I would rather have than to feel like Jesus is holding my throbbing hands. He has always been there through my pain and I pray that you will feel that presence as well.
Love,
Stephanie Adams
Cumming, Georgia

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger Pam Meyers said...

Coming in here late Kristy, but not without prayers for you and Milton. That you can even see at all or put two words together as you did is a God thing.

You are an inspiration to all of us.

Praying in Arlington Heights, IL

 
At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristy,

Your great, kind, generous heart and your luminous soul shine through your words.

Although your vision has decreased and your hair has thinned, your mighty spirit roars out your love for God, your family and life.

You shimmer with Gods love. May you have his peace.

May you have his joy.

You are a jewel.

Rebecca

 
At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,
Hum... What do I say, I don't know you and you don't know me. I have a friend that goes to your church so I thought I would check out your blogs. Curious I guess. I pass by your church to go to work and every time I say: thank you Jesus for healing Krysti Dykes.My mind often goes to you throughout the week. Wow, I think God really is in love with you. I remember a song I once heard, it goes something like...I see you in the future and you look alot better than you look right now.
Blessings to you all....

 
At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Bren said...

Kristy, I just bumped into your blog. Not really, I know it was a God thing. I just want you to know that I am praying for you. And, will ask all my friends to do the same. I have been tremendously blessed in just the few minutes I have been here on your blogsite. I discern your love and thank God so much for you. You are truly a gift to the Body of Christ. Thank you for impacting my life for good. LoveU...

 
At 3:05 PM, Blogger DayleShockley said...

I'm praying you have a restful night, and a good day tomorrow. One day at a time.

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger Patricia W. said...

Prayers for early relief of your symptoms, even if Feb is a short month!

Even in your pain, your joy for life bubbles through.

Many prayers.

 

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