Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quick Status Update 5/24/12 (posted to FB)

I keep waiting for the happy ending so that I can write an entertaining note about how crazy the ride has been but how great it ended...we're not there yet.

I did have my second Cardiac Ablation on April 27, 2012 and I've managed to stay in normal rhythm more than I have been out of it. That allowed me to have the big procedures this morning which were originally scheduled for March. The intent of these tests were to determine if I qualified for transplant.

My parents came to town and we hit the hospital early this morning. I'll be honest, it was a rough day and required more bravery than I thought I had in me. In addition to the complications and chaos of the procedures, it turns out that although the tests were informative, they were inconclusive due to severe water retention common with Heart Failure patients. So...the short-term plan is to aggressively address the water retention over the weekend and return to the hospital Tuesday. At that point we will re-run the procedure and possibly admit me for a couple of days for additional testing and observation.

Although I don't have any definitive information, I do have a 7 day plan...and that's the best news I've had since February!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nalene Low

My sweet friend Nalene passed away unexpectedly on Friday, May 4th. I have struggled every minute since to make sense of my thoughts and feelings. I dedicated most of today to getting what I could in a letter to give to her family. I want to post it here as a reminder to myself of the pledge I have made to honor Nalene.

Nalene Low is like a mirror. And when you look into it, you see your most favorite qualities about yourself reflected back. It requires an exceptionally talented, and sincerely warm person, to hold the capacity to connect with so many, so quickly, and so permanently.

When I first became friends with Nalene, we connected immediately. She was everything I liked about myself and I immediately identified her as “my kind of girl”. Over the past few days, I’ve listened to many share stories which echo that same sentiment. It is clear that my bond with Nalene is not is the bond that Nalene has with all of those whom she loves.

Like I mentioned, I felt like I had so much in common with Nalene when I first met her. However, during this past year, as I have battled terminal illness, I have allowed some of those qualities to fade. Uncomfortable with my circumstances and my emotions, I have become more closed off than I ever have before. But with impeccable timing, Nalene was consistently supportive and unquestionably cheering.

I was incredibly fortunate to have some time to visit in my home with Nalene the night of May 3rd. I had only been home from my last hospital stay for a few days when she sent a text asking if I was up for visitors. In the “midst of ick” (Nalene’s words), I had ignored texts and emails and phone calls from others asking the same, but that afternoon I saw her text and responded. Somehow I knew I wouldn't want to pass up this opportunity to talk and visit with Nalene.

Nalene and Jana Evans stayed for a couple of hours and we chatted and laughed like friends do. There was nothing so profound in our conversation, but a profound mark was left on me. As I had the blessing that evening, to look into Nalene’s Mirror, I was reminded, and lovingly encouraged, to be “my kind of girl” again.

I have found it difficult to articulate my thoughts and feelings from the past few days.

A verse from the New Testament has stayed with me, Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” I am humbled that as she lived her life in testimony of the Savior, she thought to share that testimony with me. I am honored to step up to the challenge to live as Nalene lived, and feel lucky to have the imprint of her example so firmly stamped on my heart.

With Love,
Kimberley Denney