As of my last blog Nicole was doing amazing and because I have not blogged in awhile everyone has been assuming that Nicole is continuing to do well. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We have had a setback... unfortunately, a substantial setback.
About a month ago Nicole went in for her regularly scheduled bloodwork to check her kidney functions. She had been hovering around 24-26% GFR (a measure of kidney function) and her bloodwork came back with a result of 18%. These results caught us entirely off guard. This was a substantial drop in a 3-month period. The doctors requested a retest and fortunately the results were a little better at 20-21%. This was still a huge drop but not as bad as it had been.
A result of 15% GFR is an important threshold according to Nicole’s doctor. It is the point at which a kidney transplant needs to take place and also the point where Nicole will begin to get noticeably ill. Thus, a drop from the 25% area to the 20% area in just 3 months implies that if things continue at the same rate (of course this is a major assumption) then we would have just 3+ months to get things together for her transplant.
Nicole at her 7th Birthday Party
The nephrologist informed us that we need to make a selection for the donor. So we did. Titia’s niece, Tiffany Smith, is the primary donor. We also contacted our backup donor and a final backup to make sure that they were still willing and available, if needed. Everyone is still onboard. Praise the Lord and what a great blessing to have such willing servants available to minister life to our daughter.
Tiffany happened to be in town over Thanksgiving and she sacrificed almost 2 complete days in
performing a substantial number of the required tests. Not only did she perform testing but also met with the surgeon and so on. Titia and I got a chance to thank Tiffany in person for her great sacrifice. She took it all in stride and demonstrated amazing humility. She really does have a servant’s heart and wants to genuinely help out Nicole. I really felt like there were not enough words to express my thanks. I think she understood. J Cleveland
The great challenge is this. If at any point in the donor testing process there is a hiccup then we have to start over with another donor. If Nicole’s kidney functions drop too low then it will be necessary to start dialysis. We REALLY pray that dialysis will not be necessary. Pray for two things to occur; first, that Nicole’s kidney functions remain above the critical threshold and second, that the donor testing with Tiffany goes smoothly. It will require both of these things to occur for us to avoid dialysis with Nicole. That is our desire. We covet your prayers.
Once again, I am reminded things are really completely out of our control. We cannot control Nicole’s kidney functions and we also cannot control how the testing goes with Tiffany. We literally must live a life of faith in this regard. I understand the requirement to live a life of faith because of my relationship with the Lord Jesus. He calls me to die to myself daily and to sacrifice the strong desire to control outcomes and to turn every aspect of my life, small and great, into His loving hands. This just happens to be a GREAT matter and it is easy to worry. But Why? The Lord has been faithful in every matter and this will be no different. The just (those that are justified…declared innocent before a Holy God) shall live by faith. That is my life calling and in this matter things will be no different.
If you do not live a life of faith I would encourage you to do so and to commit yourself to the sovereign Lord of the Universe who loves you more than you know and demonstrated that love by sending His only Son to sacrifice Himself on your behalf. Hmmm, appropriate to think about these things at Christmas time (even if we all know He was not born on December 25th). Giving up control to Him is really not that difficult to do. After all, neither you nor I actually control anything at all. So what is there to lose?