A New Hope for a New Year! Update # 3:

Just a quick update.

Bethany continues to due well.  Her liver numbers have continued to improve and stay normal.  This past weekend we were able to travel to Foley, AL, to visit with my parents for the weekend.  It was wonderful!  We all had a great visit, and my parents as always spoiled both kids.

As many of you know, Alabama and Georgia were hit by what is now dubbed “Snowmageddon 2014.”  All of us made it through the storm safe and sound.  Angela didn’t make it home the first night.  She ended up having to abandoning her car about 4 miles from our home and spending the night with some dear friends.  Bethany and I almost got caught in the weather as well, but thankfully, I took a less traveled road home after doing lab work downtown.  It only took us 4 hours to get home, one hour of which was spent less than 1/10 of a mile from our house.

Prayer Request:

1.  Bethany’s lab work showed this time that she tested positive for the cmv virus.  This was expected since she was cmv negative before transplant and her donor was cmv positive.

CMV is the virus that can cause mono and a few other things.
Bethany is not a danger to others (except for pregnant women), and for the most part she is still feeling good.  Her doctors have increased one of her medication to help fight the virus.  We will repeat lab work next week to monitor the virus’ progress.

 

The doctor’s require blood work to show two negative test to clear Bethany of the virus.  The virus can cause Bethany’s liver numbers to increase which if these numbers increase too much they could cause confusion as to whether the increase is due to the virus or rejection.

 

Please pray Bethany will quickly develop an immunity to this virus, and that she does not experience any complications due to the treatment of the virus.

 

2.  Please also pray for Bethany’s side.  Starting last Friday her side began to experience sharp pain.  We’re not sure where this has come from, but it is causing Bethany trouble sleeping.

For a short update, this sure is too long!  I pray this update finds each of you well and safe.  Thanks for your continued prayers for our family!

In His grace,
Taylor

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Two Months Since Transplant!

26647_791727697507649_1484474669_nYesterday was Bethany’s two month anniversary since receiving her new liver, and she’s doing great!

We won’t repeat lab work again until next, but Bethany continues to make great improvements daily. Starting Saturday, her headaches have not been as bad, and it seems that she is beginning to recover from her sinus infection.

Sunday, Bethany returned to church for the first time since before transplant. We all had a wonderful day of worship in the morning, and Sunday afternoon, the entire family went to Moss Rock Preserve for a short hike. Bethany became a little tired, but overall, she did great!

Monday was MLK day. Angela was off from work. It was a beautiful sunny and 60 degree day. I took the opportunity to get to the golf course to hit some ball at the driving range, and Angela and the kids made it back out to Moss Rock Preserve for another hike. Bethany did even better this time!

Monday also marked the last day Bethany would wear a pain patch. She’s wore a pain patch since August last year due to all the abdominal pain she experienced due to her liver failure. Praise God! Bethany is now off all pain medication except for Tylenol as needed, and she is doing great. This is huge! We are so excited to see Bethany doing so well. Each day, we are seeing Bethany look and feel better.

Finally, because Bethany continues to improve, we have decided to make a trip to see my parents this weekend. We have all missed seeing them over the holidays, but Bethany has especially been missing seeing her Nanah and Papa. Keep us in your prayers as we travel this weekend. Please pray the trip isn’t too much for Bethany.

Thank you again for your continued support and prayers. Please keep them up.

In His Grace,
Taylor, Angela, Bethany, and Jonathan

Transplant Clinic Update:

Bethany, Jonathan, and I have just finished meeting with her doctors in Atlanta, and we have had a great visit! Bethany’s liver numbers continue to be stable, her prosraf level continues to hold where the doctors want it to be, and her ggt remains elevated but it is stable.

Bethany is stable enough that we won’t need new lab work for 2 weeks, and we won’t need to return for clinic for 1 month!  Keep those prayers up. God is hearing and answering them. 

1. Pray specifically for Bethany and I as we recover from a respiratory infection.

2. Please also pray for Bethany, Jonathan, and l as we get back into the swing of school work. Both Bethany and Jonathan are hoping to return to regular school in the fall. We all have a lot of work to do to get them ready for next year, but they are both very much up for this exciting new adventure!

3. Remember to pray  also for Angela as she is our sole provider. This is a burden that she has gladly carried for the past many years. She is an amazing wife and mother!

4. Finally, although we still have aways to go regarding Bethany’s recovery, we are on the right track. She is becoming healthier each day, and this allows me to consider what might be next on the horizon for me. I have not given myself the luxury to think too long or too hard about this, but it is not too early to begin praying to see what the Lord has in store.  Please pray with me for the Lord’s leading, direction, and wisdom. God has a plan, and I want to be perfectly in step with it. Maybe, God will use you in this process too!

As always, thank you for your prayers and support. I’ll update as we have more to share.

In His grace,
Taylor, Angela, Bethany, and Jonathan

A New Hope for A New Year! Update # 2:

Okay…

As I said in my previous post, WE ARE HOME!  We are all so excited to be home.  It is good to sleep in our own beds, to cook in our own kitchen, and to be surrounded by those who bring us comfort.

Bethany’s liver numbers continue to improve!  All her liver numbers (except one) are now normal.  Her GGT (measures inflammation in the bile ducts) is still elevated, but it has dramatically improved from when Bethany was in rejection.  Her GGT at that time was 1515.  Today it is 126.  Normal is 40 or less.  The GGT takes the longest to normalize, so this consistent improvement is very encouraging.

Bethany continues to have bad headaches.  We are not sure if this is due to her anti-rejection medication still being a little high or other factors.  Two other possible causes are:  me being sick, or the reduction of Bethany’s pain medications.

As I stated earlier, I’ve been fighting a respiratory infection really since before Christmas.  Bethany started showing signs of being sick last Thursday.  I’m taking her to the doctor later today.

One of the great improvements Bethany has made over the past two weeks is a reduction of her overall pain.  Because of this we have been gradually weening her off of her various pain medications.  We are hopeful that she will be off all pain medications (except for Tylenol) sometime this next month.

Any one of these issues (anti-rejection medication, respiratory/sinus infection, reduction of pain medications) could be the cause of Bethany’s headaches.  We return to Atlanta for transplant clinic Wednesday, January 15th.  Hopefully, we will get more clarity about these headaches then.

We are still very encouraged about Bethany’s overall progress.  She has come such a long way from how sick she was prior to transplant, and she has made amazing recovery progress since her transplant.  Everyone who sees Bethany is amazed at how good she looks, and she does look great!

Mostly now, we are all just trying to settle back into life.  Angela returned to work for a couple of days before New Years, and then returned full-time on Monday, January 6th.  The kids and I are starting to slowly dig out our homeschool materials.  We were able to get a good start on school work last week, and hopefully will be up and running with a full schedule by weeks end.

I have said many times that thank you can never say enough for the encouragement, support, and prayers our family has received over this past year.  But allow me to say it again, thank you, and please keep that support coming.  Bethany is on the road to a healthier life, but she will continue to have many obstacles to overcome.  Receiving a new liver means so many things to our family.  Seeing Bethany healthy is still a new experience, one I hope to enjoy for many years.

Here are a few thoughtful ways that you can pray for us and Bethany:

  1. Pray that Bethany will not experience another episode of rejection.  Her doctors tell us that at least 1/3 of all their patients experience at least one case of rejection the first year.
  2. Pray that Bethany’s head will stop hurting.
  3. Pray that we will get Bethany’s prograf dosage correct.  The prograf could be the cause of Bethany’s headaches.  Bethany is also experiencing tremors due to this medication.  Please pray that she will adapt to the medication or that we can lower it so this side effect won’t be so prominent.
  4. Pray that both Bethany and I will recover from this respiratory infection.  Please also pray that neither Jonathan nor Angela will become sick.
  5. Pray for all of us to readjust to being home.  Laundry still needs to be done, bills still have to be paid, and school and work continue on.
  6. Pray for rest for all of us.  We are starting to normalize some, but we all missed a lot of sleep while in Atlanta.
  7. Coming home has been wonderful, but as I mentioned above, life did not stop while we were gone.  It’s hard to rest and catch up all at the same time.  Both Angela and I can see a thousand things that need doing, but we know we can only tackle one task at a time.  Please pray that we will be patient with ourselves as we try to bring order back to being home.
  8. Please pray for work and school.  Angela has returned to work, and the kids and I have started working on school again.  These are great ways to bring normalcy back to our lives, but with them also comes normal stress.  Please pray these transitions will be smooth.
  9. Finally, give God praise and glory for the great things he has done.  We are excited about Bethany’s recovery, but we are even more excited to know that Bethany’s liver is healed.  Bethany will live and she will glorify God is in body.  Join us as we glorify God too!

It is hard to comprehend that we are truly dealing with a new hope for a new year. Bethany has been healed, and we are all so excited to see what a new and healthy Bethany will be like.  It’s been 11 years since her diagnoses.  Eleven years of dealing with an unknown.  Eleven years of managing hope and expectations.  Now we all have a new adventure, journey, and road to travel.

Thank you for traveling this road with us.  Please keep us close in your prayers as you will remain in ours.  I will continue to post updates of Bethany’s progress.  Prayerfully, these will be updates with great news.

We love each of you, and we give God great glory for all He has done!

In His Grace,
Taylor, Angela, Bethany, and Jonathan

A New Hope for a New Year!!!

Happy New Year from the Kendrick family. We have now been home in Hoover since Christmas Eve, and it’s been wonderful! Bethany Continues to make good improvements, and we are all starting to catchup on rest. We have travelled back to Atlanta twice for blood work since returning home (yesterday and the Friday after Christmas). Both trips went extremely well. Bethanys’ liver numbers continues to improve, and we seem to be getting closer to getting her Prograf dosage correct. As of today, we won’t need to return to Atlanta until January 15th.

We will begin seeing Bethany’s local doctor and doing blood work here in Birmingham next week. This is great news! It means Bethany is becoming more stable. Praise God!

I apologize I have not updated as often since being home. We have all been tired, and trying to settle back into normal after being gone for 6 weeks is not easy. But as each day passes, I can tell that we are all starting to breathe a little easier. Prayerfully this means a little bit of normal is just around the corner.

l pray this quick note finds you and your family doing well. We continue to pinch ourselves daily trying to comprehend all that has actually taken place since that amazing phone call on November 19th that changed Bethany’s life so dramatically. God is good all the time! And you, our family and friends, you are amazing! Thank you can’t say enough. Instead, may this simple prayer of thanksgiving fill you and your family with blessings upon blessings.

Father God, to you only should all praise come. You are the giver of life and the provided all needs and comfort. May you be praised and glorified for all the kindness shown to our family. May your name be made famous among the nations, and may many come to know of Your wonderful deeds. For without Your influence and guidance we would never turn to You, seek You, or seek the welfare of others. Praise be to You and You alone! And may blessing flow to the vessels of Your provisions.

Amen!

2Cor, 6:2 “Now is the Time!”