Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I really don't know where to begin with this post or why I am posting it, other than to journal a pretty significant time in my life. I feel like I have gone through so many trials in such a short time and I know that God is definitely trying to teach me something. I just want to be sure I get it. I am hoping this doesn't continue to go on and on, but I also know that each one of these circumstances was handpicked for me, they do not surprise God, He loves me, He promises to use them for good, and I can glorify Him through them. It is hard to see clearly in the middle of it all but I don't want to waste them. I definitely think 2 major themes that have reoccurred are: Not To Take Things for Granted, and I Do Not Have Control Over the Circumstances in My Life.

At the end of May, the trials began. They 1st couple seem fairly minor looking back but felt significant at the time.

1. My eldest son went in an ambulance to the hospital for chest pains and breathing problems. In a nut shell, more things surfaced that required testing and waiting through a long holiday weekend for results. Everything turned out ok...praise God. I definitely viewed my son differently after that....Things that bugged me didn't matter any more. I just wanted him to be ok

2. After my sweet baby girl was born in June, the Dr told me my hemoglobin was so low, I almost needed a transfusion. This resulted in a long recovery from child birth and a hard time having energy to get things done. It also resulted in not producing milk to feed the baby and the baby not gaining weight for about a week. May not seem big to some...but...this was my last baby and I desperately wanted to be able to nurse her. It all turned out ok and she has more than caught up. praise God

3. The day I was leaving the hospital, I found out my mom had thyroid cancer. Not easy to hear. Not a lot of explanation needed on that one. But, after further testing, it was a kind with a great prognosis. She has since had her thyroid removed and 3 very involved lymph nodes. This week, she is currently spending the week in isolation, receiving a large dose of radiation. Next week....a body scan to see if the cancer spread to other areas.

4. While trying to adjust to #6 and recover from childbirth, baby screamed all day, every day and seemed inconsolable. I know plenty of people have collicky babies but this was especially hard becasue of the 5 other kids to care for, including a 2 year old. I feel like my husband and kids didn't get to enjoy her the way they did Jonah because she was never happy and no one else could hold her. At a couple weeks, we discovered that she had blood in her stool and this was most likely food allergies from food I was eating. So, I needed to cut out dairy, eggs, nuts and fish. I thought "no problem". Ya right! Don't think I realized how many things dairy was in. It was worth it though, and that trial was resolved, too (about 2 weeks after changing my diet)! Now she is such a sweet, easy going girl and the kids all love to play with her and hold her all the time!

5. Soon after, my dad had some routine tests where we discovered he has a slow-growing growth on his pancreas. We had to wait a couple of weeks for a biopsy, which shows that is is not cancerous. However, they sent everything down to UCLA, where he needs to have further testing done next Tuesday (Sept 27) to see how to proceed.

6. Then, I had some problems recently with one of my eyes whenever I moved it or blinked (not with my vision). I wondered if I was starting to get an infection. For 3-1/2 weeks, it didn't get better or worse. Upon careful examination, I noticed it appeared to be sunken in a bit. It kind of freaked me out so I got into and eye Dr the next day who referred me to another Dr.,  who did a CT scan right in the office. The scan showed some sort of bad infection in my right sinus cavity that has eaten away some of the bone and is subsequently causing my right eye to sink toward the sinus cavity. Not fun news to get at all. This is resulting in at least 2 surgeries (the 1st one is next Tuesday, the 27th, to clear out the sinus cavity and take a culture of the infection.The 2nd one will be with a plastic surgeon to repair the bone and re-place the eye in it's proper position). I really struggled with accepting how this will all fit into my life of homeschooling, working, caring for my family, a newborn, etc. I cannot control it and God has allowed it for a reason. I am thankful it isn't something worse, is fixable and that God orchestrated it to where I was able to see every Dr, get a scan, and get results all within about a 5 hour window of time. Praise God! He is in every detail and nothing takes Him by surprise.  Surgery is the same day as dad's procedure.

7. Seems trivial after all of that...but, in my busyness, I flooded my upstairs bathroom today by forgetting to turn off the faucet to the sink I was filling, as I went downstairs. Husband had to come home and has torn out the ceiling of our living room. We had to file a homeowner insurance claim and are waiting for someone to come out. I'm sure the house will be torn apart for weeks....all while being stuck at home, recovering from surgery.

8. Just got a text form my husband that his physical with the fire dept revealed a problem requiring him to get a CT scan of his heart quite a distance from our house next week.

So, next week is My surgery, my husband's CT scan, My dad's tests/procedure and my mom's body scan....all while repairs and construction will be going on at my house. God is definitely working. I feel so "not cut-out" for any of this. I feel like it is more than I can carry while still taking care of my day-to-day responsibilities. . Then, I remember that God does not give us more than we can handle, that we do not need to worry about tomorrow and that He WANTS us  to allow Him to carry our burdens. He sees and knows the end result....I just need to cling to Him and trust Him through it.


Jenn said...

I have known you since we were 12 years old, and you have always been one of the most focused, faithful and dedicated women. I admire your constant commitment to your family, especially to your children. God does have a plan for you and your family, he doesn't make any mistakes, and it will all make sense shortly. Louie, your beautiful children, and your parents are so blessed to have you, your strength, and your love. Hang in there, hold on, and continue being faithful. Please keep us posted on this blog. xoxo. Jenn Papale.

tara said...

Oh Andrea. I just read all of this!?! Wow. We had a couple of years of totally different but similar issues that come from all sides. I understand that drowning feeling and wondering if it will ever stop. It is so good to know we have a loving God who doesn't give us more than we can handle...I am praying for you, for strength and peace and healing for all involved! Hang in there!!