Thursday, December 29, 2011

a little christmas magic

This Christmas we definitely felt an urgency to do something different and really make it special. Justin wanted to make this Christmas memorable. He suggested using the cottage at the river house to celebrate the special weekend and it was a huge success!
I have never enjoyed my family so much. The Lord provided such perfect time for each of us to spend together. Justin and I really got some one on one time that we REALLY needed. We had uninterrupted time with the kids and no silly distractions. We bundled up and ate yummy comfort food and did NOT talk about being sick. It was precious time indeed.
It was sad coming back to the reality of our world the next day. Straight back to a doctors appointment with more concerning news. I had to mourn a little when we returned. I had to refocus on what needed to be done and where my head needed to be. I wish my head could stay at the river house with the beautiful scenery and cozy pajama time. But that is not the reality that the Lord has placed at our feet. He has given us something big to endure. It is not something for us to accomplish or defeat..that is His job. It is just our job to glorify Him each tricky step of the way. So we are back home and as burden free as we can be. Striving to lay it all at his feet and just trying to keep that little magic river house spirit alive here.

This is where we got to stay! So blessed with such generous family that is willing to
share their beautiful home with us.
Christmas Eve cookies for Santa and grapes for the reindeer and
a sad farewell to our friend JJ Bean.
Our little Christmas tree!
Christmas Breakfast! Green pancakes and bacon :)
Followed by cupcakes for Jesus' birthday of course.

Daddy's Deer

Mommy's Deer
I am so sad that her tongue is hanging out like that. So unbecoming. I may never do that again.

We made snowflakes!
And cookies...

with LOTS of icing!

We hung a sign so Santa could find us!

The boys had some fun at the river. All they needed was pajamas, jackets and pop pop!

Monday, December 19, 2011


hey friends. ok we had a dr appt today. not a good one. maybe the worst yet. i am going to post as many details as i can...but it was a lot to keep up with in a 1 hour appointment and my head is spinning.
As many of you know this has been a very bad 10 days for Justin.
Here is what was discussed today.
His liver elevations are out of control. This is either "autoimmune liver disease" or "chronic liver inflammation" the liver doctor will get back to us as soon as he can, but apparently its either one of these.
His vision has been suffering and it was determined today that there is swelling. I will making him an eye appt tomorrow.
His lungs are worse and the dr. could tell that by just listening to them. He will see his lung dr ASAP to discuss options.
He has extreme pain in the right side of his body. Dr. F said this is likely caused by the port that was put in. He said it probably wouldnt go away...even if they took the port out.
The IVIG that was supposed to be so wonderfully helpful is causing too much damage. Less than 10% of patients that receive IVIG have such negative side effects. Justin will have to come off of IVIG for now.
This is very disappointing.
The port may now have been a total waste of time.
Dr. F will consult with Justin's Infectious Disease Dr in Cleveland to see if we can go forward with chemo in January.
His glucose is through the roof and he needs to follow up with his primary on that before Christmas.
The steroids that he has worked so hard to come down on now have to be doubled. The long term effects of this medication is becoming worse and worse. Upping the steroids will cause increased reflux issues among other unfriendly things.
He is no longer having any pain relief from the highest legal amount of pain medication that a rheumatolgist can prescribe. I will call tomorrow to make him an appointment with the pain management doctor.
We didnt get out of there until after 5 so I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. Lots of urgent appointments to make.
Justin broke out in hives during the appointment due to the stress of all the information. Discouraging does not even seem like the fitting word. It's different than that.
This week is one of the busiest of the year in the car business. You better believe he will be working. I obviously have no say so in that :) He is tough, but pray for his strength and pain.
BTW...did you know that 100 doctors a year in Texas lose their license due to over prescribing medications? They are considered responsible when these drugs get sold on the streets.
They are supposed to drug test their patients to make sure they are actually TAKING the drugs.
Just a little interesting fact for the day.
So...I am nauseous and very very sad....but life must go on. We came home and the boys made a gift for our Pastor and his wife and now we are eating popcorn and watching smurfs. I am really looking foward to doing our couples devotional tonight so we can have "something else" to talk about.
This news is the pits...the bottom line is that everything is worse... but its not going to take the Merry out of our Christmas. The McElhannons do birthdays big...and Jesus deserves the party of the year. Pray that all the doctors that need to see him have room in their schedules during this busy time of year.
misty mac
ps: he doesnt want to talk about it

Sunday, December 18, 2011

my mom loved christmas VERY much. she loved to shop, decorate and wear sweatshirts that lit up. she liked to sew sequins on little santa pillows and make a big pot of stew on christmas eve. she liked to buy you everything on your list PLUS a few VERY silly things. her love language was gifting for sure. she was one of those precious people that LOVED a new fun product. for example...she had a quesadilla maker, popcorn popper, pizza cooker, big fry daddy, little fry daddy, sandwich cooker, george foreman grill, cotton candy maker, extendable ceiling duster etc. You get the idea. I am not sure she used this stuff ever once. BUT she sure wasnt going to pass them up in the store. She bought us all ped eggs one year and those weird hair wrap things. We got an automatic toilet bowl cleaner once and a dish sponge that vibrated. We had space bags and lipo slim oh and one of those gloves that you can stick your hand in a fire with it on. That is actually a lie. Ours caught on fire. Anyways, her gifts were precious. She got us useful things that we wanted or needed and then she got us fun things that she didnt have room in her kitchen for.

She decorated our house top to bottom. Switched out the dishes and redecorated the half bath. She had "winter sheets" and thousands of little knick knacks. Her tree alternated each year with a theme. One year was a family tree (all the handmade and random stuff) and the next year had her theme of choice. We had a cow tree once, a bandana tree, a jalapeno tree and well you get the idea. Tacky was her thing and she totally rocked it. I miss her absolute love for Christmas lights. I love that I was able to take some of her traditions and add them to our little traditions. Growing up we always had a party with lots and lots of friends and family on Christmas Eve...we opened all the presents that were NOT from Santa (and yes he came until I was 25) and then we ate comfort food, drank cheery drinks and then turned the music up and let the boys play poker. At our house we will go to church and then come home to open a gift, eat some comfort food and then play some Christmas Karaoke with the boys.
We eat a big yummy breakfast (different every year) open presents and then after lunch we have a little birthday party for Jesus. I am excited that I have so many AMAZING Christmas memories with her. She really got the party started. She called the shots and we just showed up when and where she said wearing what she said to wear. We always had to change into matching jammies once we got to her house and you better believe we have some rocking jammies to wear at the Mac Shack Saturday night.
As the boys grow, I know we are going to tack on new traditions each year. I am so glad my mom made Christmas such a big production. She gave me big shoes to fill and she gave me the desire to keep it magical and personal for each member of the family. I am even MORE excited that through her sweet traditions WE have the chance to share the gospel within our home. We can worship and pray freely and celebrate the mighty kings most special day.
I miss her lots and lots. She was a smiling champion and laughed so often...mostly at her own jokes. She was sarcastic and blunt and you NEVER wondered what she was thinking. She was strong, but delicate. She was tough, but sensitive. She was passionate and very silly.
I need her right now. I need her to boss me around a little and give me advice that I probably wouldnt take. I need her to call me 30 times a day and play with my boys. I need her to know Brody and Braxton. I need to her make me beef stew at the end of a long day. I miss my mom lots and lots and lots. I mostly just miss her companionship. She was just always good at hanging out and being a friend. I feel like the Lord has filled that empty place where she stood and placed people in that empty space the He knew would REALLY fill me up. I am grateful for where I am and I am thankful that through the experience of having to lose my very many doors were opened. I have been able to truly see how strong I can be and who exactly I can lean on. During the time of her death which was coincidentally the same time that Brody was hospitalized often...I was a flat out mess. I didnt know who I was. Thats because I wasnt waiting for the Lord to show me. I was trying to figure it out on my own. No wonder I was a coo coo bird. When I finally woke up and realized that I needed to get in the passenger seat...everything fell right into place. I still miss my mom just the same...but the peace I have about it is unexplainable. I have thousands of fun and silly and hilarious and heartwarming memories with that crazy lady. And now I have a lifetime of fun and silly and all the other good stuff to fill up for my precious little boys. Feeling sad tonight but thankful. Overwhelmed...but strangely peaceful.
Thanks for keeping up.

Monday, December 12, 2011

quick port post

These past five days have been incredibly long. Thursday and Friday Justin had his IVIG treatments. Saturday morning he woke up very sick. Terrible headache, yucky stomach stuff, fever, chills, cold sweats, pain all over, pale and weird looking etc. It was a long day of NO eating and trying to force water down his throat. Sunday was equally as yucky and he had some other dumb symptoms. He was extremely stubborn and even though his Dr. told me to take him to the ER....he refused. Bryce was bummed that Daddy was in bed all weekend and even extra bummed that Daddy couldnt come to Jingle Jam. (although if you saw bryce at jingle jam you may not believe that he was a little sad lol)
And now today he had quite the adventure. He had a bone density test and then had a stinky port put in. The surgery was only supposed to last about 45 minutes, BUT he had some anesthesia issues and it took about 3 hours. So 6 hours in the outpatient center and 13 stiches later...we are home. Justin is recovering in our cozy bed & he said it hurts pretty badly.
The purpose of this port is that his little veins are just not holding up anymore. The nurses need better access for his infusions it will be easier for him since he has to have blood drawn several times a week now. It is something that will stay in long term.
He really hates it a lot.
Tomorrow afternoon he will see the liver specialist. He is not really up for getting out of bed tomorrow, but he has had this appointment for several months and cannot miss it.
McElhannons are weary.

pic post

Here is our December so far in pictures....

Boerne Live Nativity

This sweet picture was featured in the San Antonio Express AND the Houston Chronicle.
How exciting is that??

Noonday Collection Party

Braxton's 2nd Birthday Party!
The lucky boy got to share his party with his two best pals, Cullen & Xander. We had so much fun celebrating our Little Buckaroos turning TWO! We even had 40 little cowboys and cowgirls to celebrate with us.

milk and cookies bar
hanging with the ladies

He never stopped running the whole time = fun for him but no good pics for me
Boerne Christmas Parade
The boys got their game faces on for Hudson's Party!

So much fun at MOPS craft day!

We have had an eventful couple of weeks. Lots of fun things happening amidst all the poo. Lots of parties with our most favorite folks. Blessed and thankful all the way to Pluto.