I am here and alive and kicking. Kicking my way about through appointments with doctors, labs, nurses, insurance reps, x-ray technicians, and bla bla bla. Next week I fly 1,800 miles to Chicago again just to say “hello” to the transplant team who performed a pancreas on me four months ago.
I owe iBeGat.com writers and readers an apology and a plea for mercy, grace, patience, and prayer. Some of you know, most of you don’t, that I survived an unhoped for heart transplant six years ago, then cancer that is in remission, and recently the pancreas transplant. All the while the doctor’s informing my husband, my son, and me that, “You’re not going to live through the year.” But it’s almost 2012 and I plan on living way longer than they expect.
And one of the miracles out of the countless ones I’ve experienced is that there have only been seven other people in the United States and possibly the entire world that have gone through a heart transplant and lived long enough to endure a rare pancreas transplant. Most only lived a year and there are only four of us alive here in the US. So I am in an elite club. (Man. but where are the presents, gifts, cars, and hoopla?) 8^)
It’s said you trade one set of problems for another after any transplant, but at least you’re alive. I’ve learned to live with much or little as Paul said to the church at Phillippi:
“I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:10-12 NIV1984)
A few months after I accepted the privilege of editor for iBeGat.com, my health slowly descended into the life-threatening need for a pancreas transplant. No one I saw would perform this dangerous surgery, considering the outcome was grim. But God provided a miracle and I received my pancreas on May 12, 2011 in Chicago. The most difficult part for me–my donor was a 13 year old girl from the Dallas, Texas area. A teenager. A young girl with family and her life ahead to dream and reach for the stars. I’m going to write her family, and have to do so anonymously due to privacy law, but I hope to one day be in touch with them as I am with my heart donor’s family.
If you want to read about the crazy times during this pancreas transplant process, click on the link to my blog: http://cindyscinto.blogspot.com/2011/04/cindy-in-chicago-day-one.html This starts you on a list of entries from the “Cindy City.”
I’m finally recovered most of the way, and when I sent out schedules for publication my intentions were sincere. But, alas, things have fallen behind a bit. I can say that this week was a turning point for me and I am much more full of the kick I usually have. 8^)
So, dear iBeGat.com writers and readers, pray for my time to be free, health to be great, and mind to be clear, so I can get back on track and keep plugging forward with this amazing sight for teens by teens!
Thank you, really.
My husband, John, and I have an odd date we love to plan–it’s one of our favorites. We change into our yard-work clothes, old and raggy, load up our beat up 1989 Ford F150 with cuttings, branches, and other green waste, and head to the county dump.
Jackson joins us. What dog would turn down the chance to ride through the dump with the windows open and a multitude of smells rapidly bombarding his hypersensitive nose.
After unloading our truck and sweeping out the back, we travel home, stopping at McDonald’s on the way. John and I split a $1.00 diet coke and a dollar menu chicken biscuit. Jackson gets a plain cheeseburger. He doesn’t like pickles or mustard.
The date is fun, productive, and cheap. Our marriage has lasted 30 years on cheap dates and bonding through yard-work and chores.
Memorial Day weekend in 2009, we stopped at the traffic light by the local Post Office we always passed on the way to the dump. The American flag hung high, gently swayed by the warm breeze.
“John, pull over!” I yelled and gestured, pointing at the parking lot in front of the Post Office. A car had pulled in and its driver’s door was open. Next to the front of it was the dark figure of a body laying face down in the gravel.
We jumped out just as police arrived. A neighbor already called 911. The man, a regular customer at the Post Office and war veteran, had taken his own life, shooting himself in the head. He died instantly. Word was that he had been very depressed and without friends and family for support, decided he couldn’t go on.
I will never forget what I saw that day. His body, clad in worn out jeans and a blue denim shirt, lay below the American flag now at half mast in honor of Americans who lost their life due to war. As if he wanted to say, “Remember me this Memorial Day.”
Remembering Memorial Day has faded into a holiday weekend of partying, summer’s initiation, and massive throngs of people traveling in the name of rest and recreation.
Each year, an average of 500 people will die on Memorial Day Weekend due to traffic accidents. I wonder how many die due to suicides. Memorial Day was meant to remember those lost honorably as they died for our freedom and safety in the United States.
Each Memorial Day, at exactly 3:00 PM local time, a moment of silence is observed throughout the country. This Monday, take the time to do this and close your eyes, remember it’s Memorial Day, pray for those lost and those left behind to suffer, and thank God in heaven we live freely.
For me, Memorial Day will never be the same. The figure lying in the parking lot on the gravel that day remains in my mind as a vivid reminder of the hurt and loss war brings. He was a stranger to me, but an angel to God.
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebrews 13:2-3)
“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” (Psalm 5:1-3 KJV)
Here I am—grounded again and it’s only the start of day two. Dad’s hidden behind the newspaper with his morning coffee. Mom’s running around the kitchen finishing lunches, flipping pancakes, and reminding us she can’t take us to school if we miss the bus.
My little sister, not yet old enough for kindergarten, has spooned applesauce all over her hair and my younger brother has just informed Mom that it’s his turn to bring the mid-morning snack to class.
I picked at soggy pancakes, thinking of ways to ask Mom and Dad about the dance this Friday night. The dopest guy in the entire school has asked me to go and telling him my parents won’t let me would mean ridicule from all my friends. Just five more days and I won’t be grounded anymore but that’s too late. One whole week of solitary confinement just for lying; it’s not fair. I’ll never get caught lying again!
I hate my life. Mom and Dad are always concerned about money and bills, I always get stuck baby sitting my brother and sister, and we never do anything fun. The only thing we do together as a family is go to church. Why go to church anymore? Why should I read my Bible or pray? Why am I so miserable? If I’m a Christian, then why do I feel like I’m swimming around in a fishbowl with nothing to look forward to?
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Does this reflect the way some of your days start? Do you feel the despair and discouragement this teen feels? Think about how many days you start out with feelings of selfishness and anger, letting emotions rule your behavior and decisions. Were you able to have a quiet time and Bible reading any of those mornings? And if so, was it enough time to really grasp God’s Word and wait for Him to speak to you?
David, the psalmist, knew the secret of a close relationship with the Lord. “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (Psalms 5:3 NIV1984)
In the morning our minds are fresh, not yet bogged down by the problems of the day. It’s a good time to communicate with God and “breathe deep the breath of God.” The teen in this story had a gloomy outlook for the day and defeated her trust that God was in control. She had a distorted “fishbowl” view and was feeling injustice at her punishment.
But the crime justified the punishment and by her statement, “I’ll never get caught lying again,” it’s evident that her heart hasn’t changed. Spending time with God and meditating on His Word would have given her understanding about the situation she couldn’t grasp by herself. Daily devotions and quiet time with the Lord can free you from the confines of the world.
Devotionals provide an opportunity to grow and discover new truths. The Lord has a special path for your life. Know your God, He’ll fulfill your vision and free you from the fishbowl!
How’s your day been? Ever feel like going back to bed and starting all over again? Try a devotional for breakfast. You may not need the oats!
Unfortunately, diabetes is way too common in young people and ever increasing. I am starting a new series of diabetic columns to help you, a family member, or a friend live with the everyday, chronic, get’s-in-my-way, annoyance of diabetes. Please comment as I go and offer your stories, suggestions, or questions. I hate it–really, I do. But I want to live without diabetes holding me back. And to do that, there needs to be some helps in place.
Keep watch for more and just click on the iBeGat Health link on the left sidebar for updates and new posts! And November is American Diabetes Month. I will be posting lot’s of resources!
Watch a video of a local basketball player from Spokane, Washington who deals with diabetes and speaks out for a cure!