Monday, December 17, 2012

Done with 2012

I don’t know what it is about 2012.
I won’t be sad to see it gone.
I’ve seen people I love, struggle financially, emotionally and most of all, physically in ways that my human mind can’t stand.
Most people know the basics of my story. How since January of 2010, I wasn’t able to eat and I had feeding tubes. Then after meeting great doctors at John’s Hopkins, they had ideas and basically gave me some hope and I was able to eat from April 10th to mid July of this year. I began to get sick again with pancreatitis and gastroparesis and everything else. So after months of NJ tubes (tubes that go from your nose, down your throat, and into your small intestine), the doctors finally decided that they would have to intervene because I had lost too much weight. I have lost so much weight (about 80 pounds this year and 40 last year), I have a lot of excess skin. If the skin was gone, the doctor said that my body is starving in a way because I can’t tolerate the nutrition I need. I know that and I am feeding around the clock on this machine to remedy things, but because of the condition of my stomach and the constant nausea, it’s really hard to go places, do things and not feel bad or totally worn out. To make a complicated situation, well, still complicated , I am actually not going to be able to eat normally again most likely. It’s hard for me to say that because I have had lots of hopes and even success for 2 months. But now it’s worse than it’s ever been. I don’t want to be pessimistic, but the doctors these days don’t even want to give me false hope. My stomach is in such ill-repair, it might be good to take it out along with the pancreas. I just don’t know, quite honestly. I’ll know more at my appointment in January. Right now I am dealing with the realization that I can’t eat and this is just how it is, and coming to terms with that is hard. It’s not such a natural thing not to eat.
Daily in my life, I choose to be joyful. I have my moments of hurt, pain and isolation. I have days where I don’t want to get out of the bed or off of the sofa. I have those times when I reach out to God and I can’t seem to find Him.
I pray to God that He will give my life a supernatural satisfaction…one only that He can supply. I never imagined that this would be so hard. I never imagined I could be strong enough to walk down this road. In ways I am proud of myself. But in other ways, I know I’m too hard on myself. I don’t want to ever be grumpy or frustrated when I can’t eat, even though that is hard. I just need to focus on others and God and not the food or the sickness and pain I feel.
Like anyone else, I have my personal struggles, but I don’t like it when people I love get hurt. I don’t enjoy hearing that people who I love and that are precious to me are going through battles, and sometimes I can’t do anything. My hands are tied. That’s the worst feeling of all.
Cancer has reared it’s ugly head in several people I love so much this year, first in my brother-in-law Jimmy Colaciello. You couldn’t know someone better than Jim. He treated me like a sister when we first met. I remember him meeting my sister when we both worked at the Grocery store. I knew he was good to her when I visited her at her house after they were married and I got to visit and hang out with her. She was such a great woman and I loved her so much and Jim treated me like his little sister. I know for a fact that God put Jim and Cherie together.
So when I sit here, a little bit of anger rises in me, my jaw clentches. I want to fight. So I am. I’m praying for Jim. Not only Jim, but for Cherie. I’m praying that God puts His angels over them both. I pray that there is healing in the doctors hands. I’m praying for God to just be God and be what we’ve always believed in and given our lives for. We’ve always dedicated our hearts and lives to you! Please God. So I pray for God’s servants, and I pray for Jim’s safety as he has surgery on Thursday. I just need YOU, God, to guide the doctor’s hands. We all just need you.
I also found out that LaNell Miller, my pastor’s wife, who has helped me grow and have faith and has visited me many times in the hospital, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last week. I keep thinking, “God, are you there??” I find myself looking, searching almost. “where are you???”
All the sudden, It hit me and I got mad. I got mad that the devil is pulling out all of the stops .
I will not let Satan take one more thing from me. He will not take my friendships, he will not take my memories, he will not take one second of happiness that He doesn’t have the right to.
Beauty is looking at my 12 nieces and nephews. I love them each so much. Little Savannah who is 6 years old was the highlight of the Christmas play last night at church. This is the same little girl who they said could be aborted because they were afraid she wasn’t going to be “normal.” She was born around 2 pounds. I just shutter to think what man would have done if her parents hadn’t fought for life. I love all of my nephews and nieces, the most recent twins who were born in March this year, are quite perfect, and they’ve kind of brightened life here recently.
I don’t know why this year, especially this latter part of the year, has been so hard for me, and for many others. It’s hitting hard because it’s hitting people I love so much. Instead of being sad and crying all of the time, I will look at the beauty as I see it.
I find these moments with my parents as beautiful. For as much as I can’t wait to be with Kevin, I also can’t wait each morning to see my mom and dad and talk to them and feel their love. The relationship we’ve grown into having isn’t typical, but it’s one that I’ll forever be grateful for.
The beautiful flowers my husband got for my birthday, the same ones in my bouquet I held when I married him 12 years ago….that was beautiful.
I am praying God just strengthens us all and as this year comes to an end, I promise to fight just as hard to have a better year healthwise for 2013. I’m not pessimistic. I’m as honest as I can be. Maybe I’ll sit here a year from now and I’ll be able to look back and and thank God for the beauty of 2013.
Until then, We must be praying harder than we’ve ever prayed before. The battle is the Lords, just like he said in I Samuel 17:49. He’s got it under control. Just pray now, more than ever for each other.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Update for November: Please Enjoy!

I am sitting up tonight watching television and thinking. I slept for a long time today, so that is why I'm up tonight. My body has been very weak. Most of you reading this know what I’m facing.

Sometimes I really feel like I repeat myself, but for the sake of those who don’t always read my blog, or if you just have forgotten, I'll update you!! :)

I currently have a feeding tube called an NJ tube. It goes through my stomach, into my small intestines and bypasses my stomach. Every time I eat or attempt to even drink heavy liquids, I vomit or feel like I have to vomit. So my doctors, who are located in Baltimore at John’s Hopkins Hospital, basically had installed a gastric pacemaker, which worked initially for several months.

I noticed in late July that the pacemaker wasn’t working well, and since then, it’s not been working much at all. Now it does help some with the nausea, but not all of the time. We’re not sure why it’s stopped working. The doctors have adjusted it, and I’ve followed most of the guidelines. Sometimes I’m weak and I’ll try to eat a bit, but it usually is disastrous when that does happen.

So I got a temporary feeding tube in September that goes through my nose and into the intestines to give my tummy a rest. They took that one out and put another one on the other side of my face a few weeks ago and I’ll have to have that one until the end of November. I’m going back to Hopkins then, and the doctors will be making some serious decisions as to how to proceed.

I have several options. There are some experimental procedures that they are thinking of. I would be willing to do anything for my doctors. If I can help someone in the long run by doing something for research that may or may not help is fine with me, and it’s a plus if it will help me in the process.

They are talking about maybe putting a new G/J tube in me that may allow me to eat (and even though it’s kinda gross), I could open a hole in my stomach and vent and release the gasses so that if I were able to eat maybe a little bit, I wouldn’t be as sick. And when I’m too sick, I’d have a permanent feeding tube so that I wouldn’t end in the hospital. That would be ideal. But it’s a surgery and quite a life adjustment. I’d have more tubes. They've also mentioned some kind of new stent too...not sure as to what that would do, but it's a thought anyway.

I’ve lost 100 pounds total and I’m losing more because I’m not getting very nourished as anything I take in my tube, I get really sick. Resisting foods is so hard, so I’m asking you to pray for God’s willpower and that I can say no to what I should say no to! I NEED your prayers. Please pray that I can resist food. I love coffee, and even the creamer makes me sick. I just get so sick from anything anymore. Pray I'll have clear guidance. I need it more than ever.

So that’s what’s happening with me healthwise. I go back to Maryland on Nov. 28th and I see my pancreas doctor and my stomach doctor on the 29th. It will surprise me if they DON’T want to do surgery. I’m expecting that. Just pray for wisdom, guidance and for peace for both Kevin and I.

It’s been emotional for me in many ways. Emotional because I feel very disheveled right now. I feel like my home is with Kevin, but I’m uprooted because of my condition, and I’m so VERY lucky and blessed to have parents who love me and take care of me when I’m in Maryland.

But I also have fear and frustration as my parents and the people I love so much are getting older (I’m sure they’ll appreciate me saying that), and the last thing I want to be is a burden. I don’t want to be a burden since it’s such a long drive there and back from Virginia where my parents live. It’s also hard being in and out of the hospital and not knowing what’s going to happen. Of course I feel loved and everyone tells me how happy they are for me to be there and that I could stay with them any time…but it’s just the way I feel. I just don’t like being the cause of stress. I wish all of this was normal but I also wouldn’t change the life lessons that I’ve learned by going through this journey with my health.

Speaking about this journey, I really have been reflecting so much lately. I go through seasons in life, and I think over the past few months, I have really been reflective about life and friendships and about the strength and resilience of the human spirit. What I mean is that I think we are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. I read the greatest quote tonight and I wanted to share it with you:

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” –A.A. Milne
I don’t know much about A.A. Milne except that he wrote great children's poems and is most popular for writing Winnie the Pooh. He apparently was a great playwright and author. I just absolutely loved the quote that he spoke.

It’s true. So many times we don’t try things because we don’t think we can do it. We don’t believe we’re tough enough, and we surely can’t make decisions because we lack the knowledge.

I guess that’s what being ill has taught me. There have been moments when I surely thought I couldn’t make it through a 4-hour painful test, and I wouldn’t make it if I threw up for one more second. I just wasn’t brave enough.

But somehow I was. What some may think is just the human spirit, I know is God. Our God is so strong. He truly is the picture of strength. Of absolute and total power. When we have no reservoir of strength or power left, somehow as a child of His, we can tap into His source of power and it's like we can tackle what we face.

I didn’t think I was smart enough to fix a problem or make decisions with Kevin that could alter our future and my health, but we were.

We did it, thanks to prayers from others, God imparted His wisdom...the ability to do something with His guidance and protection.

And I didn’t give myself enough credit that I could do anything. I truly believe that's how Satan wants us to feel. Defeated and weak and frail. All I had to do was cling to those words in the Bible that say so simply yet so profoundly, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I surely underestimated my strength, but more importantly, the strength of the one who lives in me.

I am that strong in Christ.

A.A. Milne was right. We are braver, we are stronger, and we are smarter than we think. We are made in the image of God and He is and has been all of those things from the beginning of time. Strong, Brave and Smart. The good thing is that when we are His child, we get to tap into that strength daily. Not a second we have to walk alone. Not not one second do we have to feel weak. No one moment should we believe the lie that God doesn't enable His children to have His supernatural strength.

Now, I can't know what the future holds, but I am trying to journal every day and I'm starting a new blog about things and I'll keep this one up too. It touches me when people read and leave comments or they'll say their friend read it. It means so much to me.

Don't forget you're brave, your strong and you're smarter than you give yourself credit for. God says so. I know that she's going to kill me for saying this, but maybe she won't read it any way and I won't have to hear her get mad at me...One of the people I admire so much because I know she didn't know how strong God was in her is my sister in law Shellye. She's a really strong and Godly woman. She's raised two really great kids who love God and Shellye is strong beyond what I ever imagined. I look at her and I see such strength and grace. She'd be the first to tell you, too, that it's all God, and she's pretty strong. I love watching people chose God when they could have chosen a path of destruction and anger.

God really is good, and I am forever going to cling to his nail-scarred hands. He chose a path of pain for me, and I can endure the barbs of what Satan throws my way.

Thank you for reading. You are so special to me!

Love in Christ always,

Ami :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012



Recently I posted a picture of Cal Ripken Jr., one of my great heroes and a legend in the baseball world, and myself on Facebook. If you don’t know who Cal Ripken, Jr. is, you have to Google him, and you’ll soon see the legend he is in the Baltimore area and in the world of baseball.
One day before I came here a few weeks ago, I wrote an email to him. I was very sick, and I decided to write an email. Here are a few excerpts from my email to Cal:

My name is Ami McCarty.
I desperately hope this email gets to the right person. I don't know who to get in touch with, but I am sitting here and praying that the right person would get this email. You have no idea what it would mean if you could please put it in the hands of someone who could read this and make a difference.
When I was a 12 year old, I remember coming to Orioles baseball games to watch my idol, Cal Ripken, Jr. play.
He was my hero.
I sit here, a 35 year old woman, and as big of a fan as ever.
I will make this short and sweet, but only because I'm very ill and sitting here, up because I can't sleep and I'm very sick. I could write Mr. Ripken the longest letter, telling him how my dad and I would come, every year, to Orioles Park at Camden Yard, from the time I was a little girl, up until I got married and moved to Texas.
What I pray that is conveyed in this email and that I want Mr. Cal Ripken Jr. to know is that he helped bring me and my dad together in a way that really is indescribable. My dad is my hero. Cal Ripken Jr. is the only other man I know that has the work ethic of my dad! My dad would bring me to Oriole Park at Camden Yards several times a year, to watch my favorite team and my favorite short stop, Cal Ripken Jr., play! Watching the O's and Cal brought me and my dad together.
Our favorite memory is the one where I had made a sign for Cal back in 1993. He was playing catch, and he saw my sign and came over and signed my baseball card and he treated me, his number one fan, with such respect. He cared about his fans, and I'll never forget thinking to myself that no matter where I ended up in life, that I would treat people the way this man...this most famous and wonderful superstar, treated me....a young girl. I was just a kid, but his signing my baseball card and talking to me and being so nice to his fans rubbed off on me. I saw many other "superstars" treat their fans horribly, and they were no where near as talented or as special as Mr. Ripken. Cal Ripken Jr. needs to know PLEASE is that he changed my life when he signed that baseball card. He taught me how to treat others. He taught me respect and kindness and just how to be a human being.
When I graduated from High School, my dad gave me Cal Ripken Jr.'s Rookie Cards as my gift. Most 18 year old girls would have wanted a car or a trip. Not me. That Topps Traded card and the others I have are my most priceless and prized possessions.
I dreamed of having kids, a son or daughter, to pass all off my baseball cards to. But I became very ill, and I have severe stomach issues and that most likely won't ever happen because of my health. I live now in Texas with my wonderful husband, but travel extensively to John's Hopkins in Baltimore. Mostly because I know Baltimore and that Hopkins is the most amazing place.
What made me write this is that I'm coming to town for an emergency trip to Hopkins. I'm leaving to fly out Sunday and I will be in Baltimore and at the hospital on Tuesday. I am excited just to drive by the stadium on my way in. Just the memories that are evoked when I drive by give me chills and makes me happy and it makes me think of a simpler time in my life...before life got hard and I was sick and dad was old!
I know this isn't possible, but I'm going to ask anyway because Mr. Ripken saw my sign when he was playing catch and he came over and signed my card with a smile when I didn't think THAT day would ever happen. I believe with my whole heart that he'd care enough to want to read this email. I would love nothing more in my life then to have the chance to meet him again while I'm home having treatment at John's Hopkins. If there was SOME way I could meet him. Just shake his hand. My dad is now 64 years old and isn't in the best health either, but he takes care of me when I have to come home to Hopkins for treatment. I know I'm his little girl and he's still my hero. It would mean so much if SOMEHOW (and I realize this is a long shot) that I could bring my dad to meet Mr. Ripken in person. I would just LOVE to have that memory while we are both together and could just really enjoy it…..

Well, I was sitting in the doctors office, very down, and Mr. Ripken’s assistant called and told me that they wanted to meet me on September 19th. I was stunned.
To make a Long story short, My dad and I went to his office in Baltimore, and He met with me. His assistant was so wonderful, and he told me that they receive hundreds of letters a day, but when he saw mine, he knew there was something different about me and they wanted to met me.
When Cal walked into the conference room, he actually hugged me. He shook my dad’s hands. I was so excited. We sat and talked for 45 minutes. He was so kind and he asked me all about my health. He was concerned. He told me I had a positive outlook, and immediately I got to tell him that I could stay positive because of Jesus Christ who is my Savior, and because of my husband and family.
Mr. Ripken was so classy. At one point during the meeting, when one man interrupted and came into the office not knowing we were there, He actually said, “Please don’t interrupt. I have a very important meeting in here.” I felt SO important. So did my dad.
My favorite moment was when I shared with him how he signed my card and how as a little girl and teenager, he showed me how to treat people. He teared up, and he told me that us meeting like this made him realize that all of the little things he did like signing my card with class and blowing on the card to make sure that it didn’t smear were important. He said that he didn’t realize that people noticed those things. He was tearful and said thank you for telling him that. I began to cry a little too.
All of the while, my dad was watching. It was neat seeing my heroes together. Then Cal began talking baseball. My dad and him talked and he LOVED my dad’s bat. He said that it was just almost the same bat that Cal had used himself. It was like talking to your BEST friend. He told us all about his endeavors now. We asked him who the person he dreaded hitting against most was…I’ll tell you that if you ask me!!  We talked and talked and talked and just enjoyed everything.
When I asked if he could sign things on the phone with his assistant, his assistant said that he has a lot of people take advantage of him, so I could have one or two things to sign. I wanted him to sign a picture of me and dad and then my dad’s bat. We brought a few more things for him to sign, but when he began to sign things, he said, “Ami, I’ll sign ANYTHING you want me too.” And he did. He signed two balls, two pictures and my dad’s bat. He even offered us his tickets, which are front row seats at the Orioles game, he said that He’d be happy to give them to us next year, and he said that he’s going to find one of his special cards for me that is very rare and kindof uncirculated, and he said all we have to do is email his personal assistant, and next year we can have the tickets and he’ll look for that card for me. I know he’ll do it, too. He was so great.
At the end of our meeting, we took pictures and I gave him a letter at the end with pictures of me and dad and tracts from my three favorite churches…Church on the Rock in Texarkana where I have attended for 12 years, Woodlawn Baptist Church where I grew up, and Freedom Baptist Church in Virginia where my Brother in law and sister in law lead. I told him that he would be welcome there. Below here is a copy of the letter I left with him. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to say everything that I wanted to say to him while I met with him. SO, I wrote this letter below and it said it all.
Cal wished he could stay, but he had a big event that evening and had to go prepare. He asked to give me a hug, and of course I did. He was so wonderful.
The thing I regret most is that I didn’t get to have my BIGGEST hero meet Cal, and that’s my husband Kevin. But this memory was one I share with my dad. I got to get Kevin a hat, and a baseball signed by Cal, and he has a picture of me and Kevin together.
The most important thing was that I got to tell Cal about Jesus and I got to share the gospel by telling him that I accepted Christ as my Savior, AND he got to have three tracts from three great Bible preaching churches.
I am so blessed. Even though I go through sickness and pain, I also have a very blessed life. God gives me the desires of my heart. I loved Cal Ripken Jr. before, and I love him and respect him more now. My dad and I have the best memories and this is a bonding experience I will never forget.
Below is my letter Cal got to read with my pictures and tracts. It’s kindof long, but I hope you will read it.
I love you all!!

Dear Mr. Ripken, September 19, 2012
Thank you for the time that you took to meet me and my father today. I don’t know what all we are going to get a chance to say to you, or what I’ll be able to say since I know myself and know that I will be star-struck! So, I thought I would write you a few things, just for you to know and hopefully you’ll know how appreciative I am. I am sure we will probably talk about my health and things, so I thought that I would write you a note and tell you a few memories I have and maybe you’ll enjoy reading them. I know you have a daughter, and I’m sure you understand how precious the relationship between a daughter and her dad is.
My dad is the hardest worker I know. I am married very happily, and I love my husband so much. He is the best man I know, as he takes care of me every single day in this sickness I have. He works hard and we have a special marriage, but this is not about him. It’s about my dad. I remember growing up and watching my father work. I remember how there were times as a telephone lineman that he worked so hard that I didn’t get to see him for days. He is a Marine, and I would look forward to him tucking us in at night with his signature salute. But those nights that there was a storm, or if there was a bad accident in the area, I remember my dad working late and I remember praying for him to be save. I know that he worked hard for my mom, me and my 3 sisters. He didn’t have to work like he did, but he chose to, so that we could have a better life. He put us all through Christian school and he paid for college. He was everything a dad should be.
Part of that better life included going to baseball games. I played softball when I was a kid, and I remember dad instilling a love of the game in me. He never pushed me to play. I just loved to. Probably because he played. He was #15 on his telephone league, and I remember always wanting to be #15. When I was 10 years old, I remember very distinctly sitting at Memorial Stadium. My dad played 3rd base, so I loved watching 3rd base. I was left-handed so I knew I would never be a third baseman. I remember dad telling me, “Watch the short-stop. He’s Cal Ripken, Jr., and he’s the best short stop I’ve ever seen.”
From that day on, I wanted to be a short stop. I wanted to be #15, but I also wanted to be #8. I was torn. From that day on, I had two heroes.
The love of the game grew. I kept playing, and dad and I grew closer.¬¬ Every year, as soon as the tickets would go on sale. Dad would sit down and we’d pick out as many games as dad knew we could afford. Usually, we tried to go to about 8 or 10. We’d get a day game or two each year, but I loved evening games just as much. I remember picking out the tickets with him. We started out at Memorial Stadium, but Camden Yards was my dream park. Oh, I loved it. I got to pick who we watch the O’s play against. I would pick the Yankees, Mariners and Tigers mostly. We’d get the cheap seats, but we had our rituals on game day. We left our home at 3 p.m to make it to the stadium in time for batting practice. We would get into the stadium and try to catch home run batting practice balls in right field while watching the pitchers stretch and the outfielders catch. Then once the gates would open, I would head to try to get autographs or get close to watch you play catch. Dad would go to left field, and he would try to catch batting practice balls. Sometimes I would join him. I’ll never forget once I joined him and caught a line drive. It was cool to be the only girl in the midst of all boys, and I was the one who caught the line drive ball in my glove!!!
At one game, dad and I together caught 4 balls during batting practice. We were on cloud nine. I was so excited and it was a fun night we were having together. We were in our seats and there was this family – a mom and dad and three little boys all with baseball gloves. We were in the upper level, and these little boys kept hoping that they would catch a foul ball. Dad and I looked at each other, knowing that would never happen, and just we just gave them the baseballs we had gotten that night at batting practice. The boys’ face lit up, and we were so happy we could give them a little piece of what God blessed us with.
We have many stories and memories like that. So many I could fill a book, and I do journal about those times because I don’t want to forget. The only thing we wish would have happened is what we call the “DREAM.” We always dreamed of walking into the stadium and having a fly ball from batting practice come to us right on Eutaw Street as we entered the stadium. Believe me, it came close to happening, but we never quite got one. We have the memories of those times.
I would usually want to try to get autographs. The first sign I made was for you, and you didn’t disappoint me one bit. I’ll never forget. You signed my card. You used my Sharpie and you even blew on my card. I love that memory. You smiled and I’ll never forget your kindness. Some of the other players on the Orioles were not nearly as talented as you, but they sure thought they were. They had prideful egos. I have no idea where many of them are today. The one that was the real superstar had the most humble attitude. I can’t ever forget that, and I never will. It’s a lesson that I passed on in life. I passed it on to my nephew, Luke. My husband and I could never have children because of my health conditions, and so I actually passed on my card to my nephew. I gave it to him because he is SO into baseball and into you and he loved my story. It hangs on his wall and I know he’ll cherish it forever.
I got your rookie cards as a graduation present and I had a life sized poster of you hanging on my wall as a teen. I remember crying the night you broke the streak. I was in college in South Carolina and was broken hearted I wasn’t with dad that night. I followed you and watched you year after year, season after season. The last game I went to by myself with dad was the year I got married in 2000.
Mr. Ripken, You were what I aspired to be like. You and my dad.
You both instilled that work ethic in me. I worked in high school up and after college as a teacher up until because of my illness, I had to stop teaching.
As I am older now, I sit back and think about life and what is important. I watch my dad, who worked so hard for me and my family, not be able to walk due to arthritis and injuries he got from his physical job that he had as he provided for his family. I think of life and how hard it can be, but I also sit and think of how wonderful it is, too. I promise you that I will wrap myself up in the memory I made today with you and my dad. It will get me through hard times and help me to remember how to treat everyone with love, dignity and respect.
Mr. Ripken, when you read this letter, I want you to know what a class act you are. Thank you for meeting me and taking the time to read my email and care enough to respond. Thank you to Mr. Glenn Valis, also. You both are top notch. I also have admired your brother Billy, ¬¬¬¬too.
I have been sick for 14 years. My husband has taken care of me all of these years and is a fan of yours, too. I feel terrible for not telling you more about him! He is a true hero as well, caring for his sick wife who was not nearly as sick as I am now. He would have loved to meet you but is so happy for me to have this opportunity. Unfortunately when I have treatment, he has to work so that I can have insurance!  Please know that he is a huge fan. He would want you to know that.
I don’t know what we will have talked about and what your perspective of me will be once you meet me, but I hope you come away with knowing that I love my dad. He’s the hardest worker I know. You come in a very close second!!  I hope you know that I love my husband. He’s the best person I know for so many reasons.
I also want to share that I’m a strong believer in Jesus Christ and I accepted him as my personal Savior years ago. My happiness in life is not dependent on whether I’m sick or well, have money or don’t, or have a good day or one in which I can’t eat and am throwing up. My happiness is dependent on my relationship with my Savior and my relationship with those I love. The struggles in this life are temporal. It’s how we treat others and what we do with our lives that matter. You taught me that. Thank you.
I know I don’t know you well, but you’re the example of what a HERO should be. Please know that seeing you and my dad together made my day or actually it made my year! Struggles like the ones I face are sometimes hard and we wonder why. But I thank God for times like this. This is a moment that will live in my memory for the rest of my life!
If you would, would you read these little papers I’ve included. They are from three churches that have impacted my life. One is from my church in Texas. One is from the church I grew up going to in Bowie, Maryland, and the third is my sister’s church where my mom and dad attend. I know you’d be welcomed as just a regular person visiting if you ever stopped by!  Also I’ve enclosed a picture of me and my dad. I hope it can remind you of all of the fans you have and don’t even know it. You’ve made an impact on SO many lives. I appreciate you.
Thanks again for reading my email and for being my hero. You always will be.
Your Fan,
Ami McCarty

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Through Sunshine and Shade...

Another Day is over.
Another 24 hours.
I don't know how you spent yours. But if you'll listen for a moment, I'll tell you how I spent mine and why it was one of the best days I've had in a long time.

I had to go to Dallas yesterday morning because I had to have surgery to sow up my pump and check it and make sure that it was functioning right. Pretty basic stuff, but it was done under full general anesthesia, and there is a big incision and quite honestly it hurts a lot. That's part of the reason I'm up so late. I should be sleeping, but I'm a busy body...not one for lying here in pain with nothing to do. I have to write! :)

It's not any secret that I've struggled with health issues, and lately I have been a bit down. Usually I am pretty good at handling things. I have lived with illness for a long time, and I chose back when it got really rough, that I was going to live happy. Nothing would take my joy. I even told the Lord that, as conversationally as I'm talking to you. I said it out loud..."Lord, I'm going to be the best Christian and be Happy in this life, in Sunshine and in Shade."

So after my initial successes at John's Hopkins this past April, I was elated, and I still am quite frankly. My life from where it was a year ago, is greatly changed. I am so happy for that. However, when I began to have setbacks about 3 weeks ago, the doctors were a little concerned and made mention of some additional treatments and tests I will have to endure in the future which ultimately might lead to a big surgery.

I had been feeling so bad physically, and once I had the conversations with my doctors, my heart and usual up-beat spirit began to sink. I think everyone in life experiences moments when you get that way. When you get down and overwhelmed. I don't care who you are, or what you may be facing...I know that we're all human and frustration is inevitable. For some it's because of sickness, for some it's financial pressures, for some it's a marriage or family crisis, and for others it's a broken, damaged relationship or a bitter, angry heart or sadness because of loss. It can be any of these or all of these!

It's all the same. We all face things that quite frankly, get us down.

So I had been feeling a little down here for a week or so. The doctors are doing tests, and I'm back on a very limited soft/liquid/no fat at all diet (which totally works for me and I'm satisfied with ANY FOOD at this point). But what I was down about was the whole issue of this illness. I found myself frustrated a little bit, asking God what His plan was. Why have I experienced sudden setbacks after 3 good, happy months. Why am I now starting to feel so weak and nauseated? Why is the pain so intense again, why is my pancreas not working again?

I know that God isn't the author of disease and pain and sickness. Satan is. I know that by HIS stripes we are healed. And I also know that He doesn't give me more then I can handle.

So I've been battling over the course of a few days about things going on in my mind. I've been praying and talking to God. And as I was riding with Kevin in the car, my mind began to wander a bit.I just started to think.

For days, I had been stewing about my frustrations, wondering inside of myself silently, "Why would God bring me to this point, just to have me go through more surgery...a terribly difficult one at that, and how can I fix it."

That's when I had a God Moment!

First, the words my husband has said to me over and over again finally resonated within me.

"Ami,We'll get through it. You've got to STOP worrying!" He has told me that over and over, and every time, he's been right. We have always have gotten through it, no matter what it has been. And boy, there's been a lot!

And then, after I thought about Kevin telling me that, I immediately had a flash back of the sermon my pastor at Church on the Rock, John Miller, spoke two Sundays ago that has made me think every day since I heard it. In his sermon, he told about how Satan likes to get into any open doors in our lives. Any cracks that we leave, Satan will push open the door and try to move in. Pastor John quoted the verse in 2 Timothy 1:7, "God has not given us a spirit of fear."
Sure, how simple is that? Of course I always trust Him in day to day things, but lately I've let the fear of this next possibility of major surgery and more feeding tubes and tests and I left that door open for that mindset of anger, frustration and fear take a hold of me. I realized seriously that I have been letting this fear of everything I'm going through, rule my life like I never have before. I quoted the next part of that verse, which says "but of POWER, and of LOVE and of A SOUND MIND." That is what I SHOULD have. A spirit of Power, of Love and A SOUND (not a Fearful) mind!!! WOW!!!

And then after that thought, a song called, "If you Want me To," by a beautiful woman named Ginny Owens who is blind and plays the piano just came to mind.

The words are (a few of them):

"...This may not be the way I would have chosen
When You lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never walk alone..."

Those words pierced that spirit of fear like a balloon that was filled with water and once it was pricked, it burst open!!! I could literally feel the fear and worry and doubt and frustration and anger and tiredness and weakness just fell off of me and I clutched Kevin's hand and smiled.

I promised the Lord once a few years back whenever this all started with me that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS...whatever path the Lord has, wherever it takes me, I would serve Him to the very best of my ability. If I'm fearful, scared, overwhelmed, frustrated, and worrying about this situation, it's not going to help me one bit. It's going to hinder my walk and testimony for God.

SO, I determined something that I knew all along, as I was my husband's hand today on the ride to Dallas, Texas. I realized that no matter what...I'm going to be okay! I have nothing to fear, as He promised me I'd never walk alone.

Deuteronomy 31:8 says "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

So there it is.

In the Sunshine.
In the Shade.
I'm in it to serve Him. I'm not going to stop, to quit, to give up, to feel defeated. The battle has started and I've got the big guns on my side :)!!!

I publicly thank the Lord for the miracle He is working in my life. The Doctors once said I may never eat again, well while I'm not eating everything, for a while I was able to eat somewhat normally again without throwing up, and now, even after this setback, I'm still able to eat jello, pudding and animal crackers without throwing up yet. Little victories are HUGE to me! Thank you, Lord!!!

Being 100% honest, It is hard to be positive all of the time! It's hard because I have tremendous pain with this disease, even with medication. I don't really like to talk about the pain. It's just hard for me to handle, but I do enjoy sharing things about this process, and having people to listen, as sometimes I get lonely because my health and conditions do not allow me to do everything I love and desire to do. I'm so thankful my friends and family understand that. I have the best intentions, but sometimes I over-commit and that's my fault and something I am always working on! I just feel very blessed to have each one of you reading this as a part of my life.

There is beauty everywhere. I've been lapsing on my writing recently. I keep a gratitude journal, and because of the recent setbacks, I was so frustrated with the pain and such that I wasn't even writing in that. Bad idea. Being thankful, especially in the difficult times, keeps your mind focused on what is so good about living. My gratitude list today includes that 3 hour ride to Dallas, holding the hand of the man that I love and that the surgery I had was a success, and that my kitty cat is cuddling up right next to me as I write this blog. Beauty is the picture of my nephew with a funny face that my sister in law sent me. Beauty is looking forward to holding my Sister's new fat little twins when I go home late September for my consultation at Hopkins.

I am going to move past the "fear" stage, and the "unknown" stage.
And grasp a hold of God's hands. The hands that hold the world, hold my heart.
OF COURSE, in Sunshine
and In Shade!

Love you,
Ami :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Unknown...

I sit here right now in my living room. I am surrounded by books, mostly journals. I've been writing and doing some computer work and just trying to be comfortable.
Last week I had my first major setback since I got my gastric pacemaker.
For those of you who have been traveling this journey with me regarding my health, and have been praying for me, I know all of the things I mention about my health are difficult to understand and can be complicated. I know that, so for those who read on, I will try to simplify things.
I have Chronic Pancreatitis and Recently on April 3rd of this year, I got a gastric pacemaker put into my stomach to help with my motility issues. It had been 2 years since I'd eaten, and since the surgery, I've been eating again. At first, I ate bites of everything, but immediately I followed the doctors guidelines of what I could and couldn't eat.
The pancreas is a filter, and when your pancreas doesn't work right, things get out of whack, especially when you have Chronic Pancreatitis. It is very painful and distinct and when you have it, you can't usually eat because of the constant nausea and vomiting.
I had been doing very well, following my diet pretty good, except every now and then I would have a bite or two of something I would crave.
Well, Last week, I felt some terrible pains in the middle of my chest, and they are deep pains that squeeze. I felt my heart sink. Those pains are very familiar to me. They are pancreas pains.
My doctors confirmed that I was probably most likely having a mild flare of the pancreatitis that I live with. I haven't had one in a while, especially since they did Surgery at John's Hopkins. So when I have a flare of pancreatitis, basically, I can't eat for a while and then when I do eat, I am on a very strict diet of no fats and such. It's hard, but I've been through worse.
So for the past 3 days, I've had gut rest and I've been having some stomach problems that have been hard, but overall I'm feeling better today, although I haven't been very adventurous in my eating. The doctors are worried about me getting my nutrition and the right balance of what my body needs without getting dehydrated and they have even bounced around putting another tube in me for times like this when my pancreas acts up. At least then I could have my nourishment. All that will remain to be seen. I am, for now, just being monitored and I'm going to be okay.

You know, friends, I guess the thing that is the hard part for me regarding this illness, if I'm quite honest, is the unknown.
The doctors at Hopkins told me that they were sure my sugery was a success, but they were NOT sure just how long the pancreas would stay quiet or how long it would be until or IF my pancreas would act up again.
So the moment that I felt those awful pains, I got scared. I looked at my precious husband. We were sitting together and I told him how I was feeling and I could feel tears coming to my eyes. Emotions about all of the things we've been together through rushed over me. I don't like going through times of not eating. It's not even so much that as it is the way it makes me feel. The pain, the discomfort. Having had a feeding tube. I don't like the things that this disease does to my stomach. I don't like the nausea and vomiting and the other things I don't even need to mention so that you're not totally grossed out.
I just don't like it.
I've been so happy with the progress I've made since the surgery I had at Hopkins on April 3rd. But this last week has been hard because I have experienced a little setback, a little bit of a scare, but after resting and following doctors orders, I'm a little better today and I'm realizing that I have to come to terms with the unknown and that not knowing what's going to happen in the long run is okay! As long as I'm trusting in the one who knows it all!!!

I won't lie, It's hard for me because not eating is hard to do. I have to limit all fats and butters and oils. I have to not eat high fiber and many fruits and vegetables are off limits because of digestion issues. I am limited, and lately I have a real "Fear" of eating and putting something --- THE WRONG THING -- in my mouth because it could trigger a flare of pancreatitis. Lately I've been living off of Animal crackers and rice cakes because they are low in fat, but have flavor. I know I have to find things that I can really have. I'm trying to drink some protein shakes that have my vitamins, but sometimes even the fat in those bothers me and the squeezings will start.

I'm telling you these things so you will better understand and also pray for me.
Please also realize that I DO believe that God is healing me. I believe that He is working a mirracle, and no matter what I face, I won't let these setbacks, these little unknown areas of life dictate my happiness.

I keep a little charm in my pocket that says, "Live with Joy." That's all it says. It doesn't say, "Live with Joy when times are good and the sun is shining." It doesn't say "Live with Joy when you want to."
It just says "Live with Joy." That means all of the time. that means when you have setbacks. That means when the Unknown is all you know.
A beautiful friend gave me the devotional "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. It's a life changing book that I literally just read with such excitement every morning.
Today's devotion was so poignant. It said "When things seem to be going all wrong, stop and affirm your trust in Me. Calmly bring these matters to Me, and leave them in My capable hands..."
That's what I do with the unknown, my friends. Leave them in to the hands of the one who is capable. That is my Lord and Savior. These momentary setbacks, these temporary trials are just that...little setbacks, and if they become bigger, the same Lord and God that got me through the first round of things will get me through this next trial too.
It's okay to be down and have moments of sadness and frustration. As long as in the next breath we smile and take hold of things and ultimately live with joy!

Thank you for reading. I love you each!

Ami :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Being Satisfied is Beautiful!

Today I was in the grocery store.
I took my husband along, partly because I really didn't want to go alone.
Saturday at Walmart...that should say it all.
The other reason I didn't want to go alone was because I want to stay on budget. We are trying our best to stay on tight budget. Being alone in Walmart for some women (and I'm one of them) is extremely dangerous. You see, you go in there with the intentions to just get a few things, but then you spot one of 100 bins of things for 97 cent medication or candy or that $5 movie bin and you know it's almost too good to be true at that price, so you put a few in the basket. And then you discover that you really DID need a new bedspread or that extra large paper shredder because it was SUCH a good deal. And by the time you know it, your cart is full before you even get to the grocery line.

Anyway, my frustrations started early this afternoon when we began driving in our car that has an A/C problem. It doesn't get very cold, and so we pretty much were in 105 degree weather for 10 minutes until we got to Walmart. That was irritating enough.
So then we venture into a jam packed WalMart and we begin going down the aisles.People were everywhere. We put things in the buggy as we tried to stay in budget and not get irritated with each other as we scrutinized our purchases.
Anyway, as we quickly went through the crowded aisles, I began to get tired and irritable a bit.
I was mad because I like to look a fat grams and prices and my husband doesn't like to take his time. He's a rusher when it comes to any kind of shopping, as most men are!! So you can imagine my irritability level!!

What a task. I found myself kind of in a funky mood. I just wanted to get out of there.
Then all of the sudden... it hit me.

We were walking down the juice aisle and I saw a particular brand of juice. I got this feeling. This chill. My mind quickly thought back to a year ago. Last year at this time, that simple JUICE and WATER and some gross chicken BROTH was all that I could have to eat. I was feeding on my feeding tube. I was so low at that time.
And now here I am, not 4 months past surgery, already frustrated at the fact that buying food was taxing and taking time.

I was ashamed at myself. We are often SO short sighted as humans, and I was being EXTREMELY short sighted. Here God is working this miracle in my life. I can eat most things that I want. I have to be very careful, and I still have a lot of pain and troubles that I won't share right now, but I am feeling a little stronger every day. I'm having good and bad days, but I rejoice in both.

The point I'm trying to make is that we tend to be so short sighted in God's blessings. They are everywhere. I have been reading in Exodus about the children of Israel and how they saw a miracle when the Red Sea was crossed and then not long after it, they were complaining. Complaining about being hot in the desert. Complaining about being hungry and thirsty. Complaining that Moses was taking too long talking on the mountain when He was receiving the Ten Commandments.

It kind of reminded me of how I am at times. I get frustrated when I feel ill, and I forget that at least I can eat a lot of things now that I couldn't before. I often complain that my car has awful air and it's so hot. Well, at least I have a car that runs, which is a luxury to some. I look around sometimes and wish I could have a new recliner or a new computer since my laptop is broken. There are even little piddly things that I want that I'm sure with in two weeks I will have lost interest in them and won't even want bother with using. I pout because I'm on a budget and money is tight. Well, at least my husband still has a job and God is providing. This economy may be weak, but my God is strong.

Why am I so like that? Why are WE ALL like that? We forget the good, the beauty of this life. Yes, we're humans. We fail. We falter. We blow it big time. But God is there. He picks up those pieces, puts us together and sends us on our way again. But somehow, after we're whole again, we are kinda like those Lepers that didn't even say "Thank You, Jesus" when they were healed in the New Testament.

I am tired of being short sighted. I'm tired of losing focus in life. Sure, I have the prayer time and the Bible time that is so important in the Christian walk of life, but sometimes an attitude of being unsatisfied creeps in where it doesn't belong. You're so focused on other things in your spiritual walk that sometimes we forget to stop, be still, and say "Thank You, God," for all things perfect and beautiful.

We live in a world where it's almost impossible to be satisfied these days. For example, I went to get coffee at the store for my coffee maker, and there were about 30 flavors. Choosing was torture for me. I couldn't decide if I wanted Vanilla, Regular, Butter Toffee or Coconut Cream. My husband nearly went nuts waiting for me to pick out a box of coffee!!! You have choices everywhere. You can have anything and everything you want. One choice is never enough. You're never fully satisfied because you can't have it all!

I believe that satisfaction in Christ comes from within. You can't buy it. The Bible says in Isaiah 55:2/6 "Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy...Seek the Lord while He may be found..."

The way to be satisfied is to be thankful. Thankful for EVERYTHING. Little things. Train yourself to see beauty everywhere, even in dark circumstances.

It's funny how our minds are. We focus on what we don't have, instead of what we do. So what...I can't eat some things. But now I can eat SOMETHING!!!!!

Being satisfied in Christ means seeing the beauty in life. Sometimes life can be ugly, but in the ugly, there is Jesus. He takes ugly and makes it beautiful. He takes a broken life and turns it into a piece of mosaic art. That's Him. That's what I feel He's doing in my life.

To sum this up, I've decided to write a list of beautiful things and I'm going to make it a practice to do every day as much as I can in one of my journals.

THE BEAUTY OF TODAY: July 21, 2012 Saturday

I got to re-pot my plants today. Watching a little root and turn into a huge Ivy plant: Beautiful!

A kiss and a smile from Kevin after getting through a day of grocery shopping: Beautiful!

Spending time in prayer with God: Beautiful!

Hearing that God answered prayers from a friend: Beautiful!

The way my dog jumps on his hind legs when he sees me come home: Beautiful!

Waking up next to the person I love: Beautiful!

Seeing Mauri, Caleb, Shellye, Stanely and Carol last night: Beautiful

Tasting some fresh cherries: Beautiful!

Talking on Skype and on the phones to friends: Beautiful.

Drinking a cup of butter toffee coffee: Beautiful!

Using a fresh bottle of wrinkle serum a friend purchased me! (I am 35): Beautiful!

My husband told me I looked gorgeous. So I must be beautiful :)

I love you all!! :)


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kissed by God

Friends, I've been wanting to write and more than anything I wanted to just tell you all that I'm doing well. I'm so happy and I'm getting better. I still have hurdles that I'll share with you later. But tonight isn't that time. I know God is healing me and boy, I'm forever amazed. It's a process. He's healing more than my body. He's healing my life, a life that got to a point where I didn't know what to do. I knew God could heal. I didn't know if I had the faith to believe He would. Well, He did and is continuing to do so. Thanks to God's mercy, grace, and your prayers and faithfulness to pray and not just forget about me. Anyway, the real reason I am blogging at 4:59 a.m. is that I need to share what happened to me at church on Sunday. It was Father's Day, and I was missing my daddy in Maryland, but still extremely happy I was going to get to spend time with my father in law, who is like my second dad. It was going to be a good day. But I didn't know just how good. That morning, I was excited about church, but when I got there, I really felt the presence of the Lord. That's usual at my church (Church on the Rock Texarkana), but it was a different feeling personally. God was there for ME. Pastor Mike said something to the affect that it was Father's Day. Who better to thank then your Father, God, for all He's done. He also said that God was there to heal, and meet needs. But I was stuck on the "Thank you" he mentioned. So I felt this tug. This pull that just nearly yanked me out of my seat. The worship team began to sing this song (the one I'm attaching) called "Never Once" by Matt Redman. I bolted to the front, not scared or worried at all at the fact that it was worship and it wasn't an altar call. (I'm usually always concerned about what people think). Complete abandonment and total love seized me and I just collapsed at the front. The Words of the Song just were everything I have been feeling in my heart for God. The words were what I felt inside. They were my thank you to God. I began sobbing. Weeping like I never have wept. I just kept saying "Thank You,God." Some of the Words of the Song include: "Scars and Struggles all the way But WITH JOY our hearts can say Never ONCE did we ever walk alone Never once did YOU LEAVE US ON OUR OWN YOU ARE FAITHFUL GOD, YOU ARE FAITHFUL CARRIED BY YOUR CONSTANT GRACE HELD WITHIN YOUR PERFECT PEACE YOU ARE FAITHFUL GOD, YOU ARE FAITHFUL I just sat there at the front, worshiping. Just in awe of the God that I know personally. I felt so thankful for Him. He is so good. I've tasted and seen. I won't ever give up. I can't understand His immense love, but at that moment, it washed over me. I don't want this to sound dumb or silly. I felt at that moment like I was actaully kissed by God. Like a father kisses a daughter. Like the kiss that my dad would give me every single night when I was a little girl. That kiss of, "I love you, Ami" Nothing more. No need to say much more. Just, "I love you, child. I'm faithful and I love you, daughter. I will not EVER, EVER leave you. I'm holding your hand. Let me ALWAYS hold your heart, too. I absolutely adore you, my precious daughter. You are the apple of my eye." At that moment, I felt overwhelmed, but thankful. Thankful and overwhelmed that he loves me so much. Thankful but overwhelmed that he would and will never let me go. Those months...years of not eating, vomiting from pancreatitis, immense pain, frustration, denial and seething anger at so many people and things. My past and all that comes with it has LONG been forgiven. Now, I believe I'm healed. I've accepted this healing. The doctors have fears, reservations, and things they say that are going to be problems, but they must not know the God that loves me. They don't know all of the prayers that are prayed. Oh, please never stop praying for me. I know it's why I'm here today and so much better. Prayer works. They can't explain why this procedure that doesn't usually work has worked so well in my body. They can't explain why my diabetes is gone. They can't explain why my chronic debilitating pancreatitis isn't crippling me. But I can! I love time with God. I know this sounds weird, and at this point, I really don't care if it does...I'm truly in love with my Savior. It's kind of funny because I used to care so much what people thought about me calling God "my Father." It didn't sound reverential enough or something in my mind. But when you come to the place of total reliance on Him...When you come to the place where it's YOU and HIM and you don't know how the Bills are going to be paid or if you are going to make it through a risky surgery or if you will make it through intensive care... you just cling. You can chose to cling to anger, frustration, and pity. Or you can cling to Christ Jesus. You can cling to the nail-scarred hand that He's stretching out for you to hold. He WANTS that Father relationship, and there's nothing like it in this world. If I can pray for you, please contact me on Facebook. I want to be a prayer warrior for others, especially those who have prayed so for me. I really do. I pray for so many of you that read my blog. I want to pray for more of you. Please let me know if I can pray for you specifically and please know that I will. I'm putting a link to the song that means so much to me. I hope it blesses you today. Much love always, His Daughter Ami :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Answered Prayers

Dear Friends and Family,
I wanted to write a small blog to say Thank you For your prayers.
I am home, resting comfortably after a rather big surgery at John’s Hopkins on April 3rd.
The doctors put in a gastric pacemaker, which is not an FDA approved device. It’s something they do in patients of last resort. They thought it would help me be able to eat something. It had been about 2 years since I’d eaten normally. I have a 6 inch vertical incision right at the top of my abdomen and another five inch incision on the left lower abdomen. They are both sore.
Well, I had the surgery and after the surgery I experienced a lot of immense pain and nausea and was a bit discouraged as I couldn’t really eat anything. Well, finally after about a week of surgery, I tried a little bit of jello and it stayed down
Well, the day they let me out of the hospital, the doctor told me to try to eat whatever I wanted…just take it slow. . We were nervous, but the doctor told me to give it a chance and try what I could. So I did.
On the way home from Hopkins, Dad stopped and got me my favorite snack. I ate my favorite Rita’s Custard, and for the first time in years, I wasn’t sick. I couldn’t believe it. I cried.
Then later on the next day, I didn’t feel any nausea, which was so weird. I have lived with debilitating and chronic nausea for years. I have lived where smells would make me vomit, and for the first time, I didn’t feel that way.
So mom made me some creamy crab soup…just what the doctor said I could have, and I tried it. I had it and I didn’t get sick. I didn’t even get one bit nauseated! I cried again! I couldn’t believe it!
To top that, the next day, my parents asked what the one thing I wanted was. It was a McDonald’s McDouble Cheeseburger. That’s what I have been craving. Well, I tried it. I chewed each bite 30 times like the doctor told me to. And I didn’t get nauseated. I just cried and cried.
So far this operation has been a complete success.
I have 2 large scars, and one of them is bleeding badly. I still have the PICC/Central line in to make sure my nutrition is okay, but I think that I will be able to get that out once my body is a little stronger.
The doctors are still scared a bit, as am I, because I do still have chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatitis occurs when people with chronic pancreatitis eat. If I start eating again, I have a higher chance to have my chronic pancreatitis flare up again. We are scared of this, but we aren’t too scared, because we have the best doctors and the best family of care at John’s Hopkins University Hospital. We also obviously have a Great God and Healer.
I have always believed that God could and would heal me. I believe He is doing that in His time. I have never lost faith in Him. It just keeps growing stronger. I’m just SO Thankful for my pastors in Texas who have never quit praying for my healing, and for my pastor here in Maryland and his wife who have always prayed for me too. My grandfather Kelso, also, as well as all of the many people who have believed in my healing for years. I know that the Lord is working a miracle and I’m not discouraged or worried about what could happen, even though the doctors have mentioned the possibilities. I believe that God has my future in HIS hands. I am not worried about what I can’t control. I leave it all up to God. He’s got me this far!!!
Through this, I have been able to witness to many nurses and the doctors and I am so blessed to have been through this process. I can truly say that God is healing me and I can see how persistence, prayer, and His faithfulness is working a miracle…a true miracle in my life.
I still face a lot of pain and I will have to face the unknown future with pancreatitis but God is so good. He has allowed me to taste food again, and when I was told there was no hope, God never gave up and your prayers are what broke through.
I always promised God that no matter what happened, I would serve him. I still am going to do that. I’m still going to serve Him no matter what. No matter what I walk through…good or bad, happy or sad. I am so happy that God is the Lord of my life. I have never given up and never will. No matter what battles I continue to face or what victories the Lord decides to bless me with. He is the true God. The one that is in control. I can’t wait to use my life to serve Him more.
I personally thank each one of you who are reading this. If you have taken the time to read through this, that means you are someone that loves and cares for me and has said a prayer for me and that means more to me than you could ever know. I love you for your faithfulness, and I hope you know that I am praying for you. I keep a prayer journal with all of your names in my journal and I pray for God to bless you. I spend time in prayer, and if there is ever anything that I can pray for in your life, I promise to do so with all of my heart.
Please continue to pray that things work out correctly In my body. I have a lot of metal and devices that need to keep working correctly. I am so thankful for technology. It’s pretty neat. It’s nerve wracking to think about and easy to worry about but just pray that I can get home soon to Texas and that everything will be an easy transition.
In addition, I want to thank 3 people. First of all, my mom and dad. They are my heroes. They have been with me through this from the moment I came here hopeless, and the many trips to Baltimore and stays in the hospital and visits with the doctors. I thank my parents for being what every child wants a parent to be. Someone that sticks by them and that holds them when they’re sick, no matter if they’re 6 or 36. My parents visited me in the hospital, stayed with me overnight when I had surgery, walked with me through the hallway and took care of me, even though I’m their 36 year old child. The third person I thank is my husband Kevin. It has literally killed him to not be here during my surgery time. But he has been there every step of the way, through phone calls and talking to me and to my parents. Kevin is my angel and our story is a real story of true love and what it means to stick by each other when times get tough and life doesn’t turn out how you plan.
My life is sweeter than it’s ever been, and I tell you this just as sure as I sit here today. I am thankful, so thankful, for the fact that the Lord has answered your prayers and has shined this blessing upon me. And I promise that no matter what happens in the future, whether He continues to bless, or if I have to face more, I will always serve Him because Life is nothing without Him. There are no blessings without Jesus in our lives. I am so blessed, but only because He is the helm of my life.
Thank you…each and every one of you who have said a prayer in my life. Thanks to the doctors at John’s Hopkins who are filled with nothing but love and compassion.
Thanks to my parents, sisters and Kevin and my family in Texas who love me more than anything.
And thanks be To God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! I love you all!
In Him,
Ami McCarty

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Update before Surgery Tuesday!

Dearest Friends and Family,
I wanted to write a quick little blog to update you on things going on in my life and to remind you to pray for me on Tuesday, which is my surgery date.
I go to Johns Hopkins on Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. and my surgery is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. I am pretty nervous because I am going to have a gastric pacemaker put into my stomach. I will be spending several days in the hospital after the surgery.
The doctors believe that the gastric pacemaker will help me with the nausea, vomiting and pain. They aren’t very hopeful that I’ll be able to eat normally again or at least for a while because I still have the problem with the pancreas.
To make a complicated situation understandable, I basically have 2 problems --- one with my stomach and one with my pancreas. The doctors at Hopkins are taking them one at a time, and they’re going to address the stomach first. They are doing this pacemaker surgery and then they’re going to assess the situation. They want to get me to the point that I’m eating but my situation is more complicated than just a one step process. They may have to fix multiple problems in the process.
So we’re trying the pacemaker first and we’re going to see what happens from there.
Right now I am being fed through my veins. My feeding tube had gotten infected so they had to go in and pull it out and give me a PICC line, and nurses come to my home once a week and help take care of me. I am doing fine and will have this line for up to a year so they can continue to feed me while they’re trying to get my issues taken care of.
I am nauseated all of the time and in constant pain, so I’m hopeful that this pacemaker will work for that. As for eating, I’m not sure when or if that’s going to be addressed right now. It’s one thing at a time, and we’re focusing on getting rid of the vomiting and constant nausea and pain with the pacemaker. So please pray for me.
I’m also really struggling with missing Kevin. He has been so kind to support me while I am needing the treatment at Hopkins. My parents have been so wonderful to let me stay with them and they take care of me so well. I love my parents so much. They are wonderful to me, but I am missing my husband so much. He is the light of my life and I’ve only gotten to see him one time since February. I am hoping Kevin can come back here in a few weeks, but the tickets are so expensive right now. Things are so up in the air right now. I’m not sure when I’ll get to go home or if I’ll need to return home and then come back here for more surgery or not. It all depends on how this surgery goes. I miss Kevin but I’m so thankful I have him in my life. I am so blessed with such love.
Thank you for reading this. I know it’s all complicated but I’ve tried to simplify it as much as possible. Thank you so much for the prayers. I know they make a difference. I also pray a lot myself, and I try to pray for my friends, too. If there is anything I can pray for you, please let me know through an email or facebook message, and I will pray for you. I really mean it. There is nothing I’d rather do than pray for my family and friends!
I love you and thank you for loving me and praying for me.
Say prayers Tuesday and I’ll be updating you!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Latest 3/11

Dearest Friends and Family,
I wanted to let you know basically what is going on and what will be happening with me for the next few days and weeks.
I am going to be admitted to John’s Hopkins on Monday 3/13. They are taking out my feeding tube (J Tube), because it was infected. Apparently, once you get an infection inside of the tube, It doesn’t clear up and you have to get it out and let it heal before you put another tube in.
They are going to take out the old feeding tube and put in a central line which is like a temporary port going through your chest. I will be able to get fed by an IV to my chest until April 3, which is the date for my surgery. Home health will have to come every day to administer the food and make sure things are sterile and that I’m okay. I will pretty much be homebound from now until April 3rd.
Of course, Things may change (as they always seem to with me!) but for now, I am scheduled to have the pacemaker surgery on April 3rd. They are planning to put in a pacemaker to see if that will help my stomach move and improve the nausea. If it does, then they’ll count it a success, and I may try eating something small. But they are still afraid that my pancreas is going to flare because I have chronic pancreatitis. They are not sure if, when I eat again, it will resurface. If it does, or if the pacemaker is NOT successful, they will do a surgery to take out most of my stomach and pancreas. They want to try the least invasive first, and then move on to more riskier surgeries if need be. They are not going to let me go home; however, until my issues are resolved.
I know and have a peace that I am in the right place. It’s just going to be hard for the next 8 weeks to 2 months or more. Please just pray for me that God will work His will and way and that things will work how they are supposed to according to His plan!
Kevin has been here in town visiting and we were able to go to the National Harbor in Maryland, nearby Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, Va. It was beautiful and breathtaking, and a wonderful time together. I loved every minute of my time with my husband. These next few days in the hospital will be hard, but I will have God holding my hand and my husband’s hand there too. Not to mention, the prayers from my family and friends.
I also feel so badly for my parents and family. They are all pitching in to take care of me…my mom and dad as well as Cherie and Betsy. Darla is in the hospital herself very pregnant with twins, so you can imagine how all of this news is affecting mom and dad. I know they are worried for both of their daughters, and they have their own struggles. It’s hard for me to not feel guilty for putting so much responsibility on them. I know they love me and are so thankful I am here, but it still is difficult, nevertheless!
Thank you for praying for me! My prayer is that I will live with all joy because I know that ALL things work together for Good to those who love God! And I do love God!
And I love you all.
Keep praying and don’t stop.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Short Update 3/4

Well everyone!
I thought that I would write a quick blog. I can’t sleep tonight, so I have decided to write a little blog to keep you updated on my progress while I’m here in Maryland. This is very abbreviated. My condition, as most of you know, is very complicated, and to those who want to know more, I am always happy to tell you. This is just the basics of what I’ve learned thus far, and what I am getting ready to face at the doctors during the next week or two!!!
I’m actually getting very excited. I only have 4 more days until Kevin comes to Maryland for a week’s visit with me! I am really thrilled to see my sweetheart after a month of missing him.
As everyone knows, I haven’t been eating at all. I can drink some liquids but that’s pretty much it. I will sip a milk shake now and then, but I pretty much stick to my tube feedings. That’s the only way that I can guarantee control of the nausea, vomiting, pain and bouts of pancreatitis.
After much consideration, Kevin and I decided that I would stay here in Maryland and seek treatment for my complicated conditions at John’s Hopkins Hospital, thanks to my parents who are graciously housing me while I’m here getting help. I want to get “fixed” once and for all, so I can try to have a more normal life. I want to get to the point that instead of seeing my doctors at Hopkins every month or two, I can come here to see them every year or two! I want to get back to my life in Texas. I have felt in limbo for some time.
We had some preliminary visits with the doctors in February and, the first procedure I had done on Feb. 17th was the Endoscopy where they looked down my throat and put Botox in my stomach, which would help my stomach muscles. The doctor didn’t know if it would help or not, but it was something they hadn’t tried. They said I’d see results in 1 to 5 weeks. I haven’t noticed anything yet, but we’re not counting it a loss yet!
Last week I actually had a little setback. I have an infection at my feeding tube site and the doctors admitted me to the hospital so that I could get IV antibiotics. The site is still bothersome and will be sore, but the infection is getting better and I’m still taking medicine. I was in the hospital for 4 days, and you can bet I was glad to get home, although I had great care and God is always so good to me. I want to be a light for Him wherever I go.
Anyway, I had an appointment with a specialist about a week or so ago, and he said that the next step is for me to have a Gastric Pacemaker put into my stomach. What it may do is make my stomach motile again. He told me that I have a 50/50 chance of this procedure working. If that doesn’t work, then they will remove 75% of my stomach and resection it off in the hopes that it may work somewhat again.
Hopefully the first procedure will work. If not, I may be here for an even longer stay because the second surgery is more invasive and complicated.
We don’t know what else the doctors are considering yet. Truthfully, They don’t have hopes that I’ll ever eat normally again, but at this point, I’m okay with having some bites of food!! I am clinging to that hope.
I go to the doctor’s office on Tuesday and I’m actually hoping to get a surgery date nailed down for the first pacemaker surgery also this week. Once I do know more specifics, I will share them with you all!
Thank you for your prayers for me AND for Kevin. He appreciates them from each and every one of you who have lifted his name in prayer to God. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. God is listening, God is hearing, and surrounds me so many times with love and comfort I know is only from Him and I KNOW that feeling I feel is from the prayers being said by others on my behalf. Thank you so much for those prayers you all pray for me and Kevin!
Please pray for my husband to have a safe trip here and that this week will a productive one where the right decisions for my health will be made.
In a letter soon, I would like to share how God has used this illness in my life to really bring me closer to Him and to others. I will share that soon. I just wanted to update everyone really quickly tonight!
Thank you again for your love and friendship!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Latest Update 2/7/12

Dearest Friends and Family,
I wanted to update you all, my friends and family, about my doctor’s appointment today and about my health in general. I know that so many of you are praying for me. I wanted to let you know what all is happening so that you can continue to pray as I update you.
My mom and dad took me to the doctor’s today and I sat with the doctor. We went over anything and I basically told her how hard things have been. I can’t eat much of anything at all. Sometimes I will get to sip a milkshake, but that’s on a good day, and most days I just exist on hot tea and some coffee when that doesn’t make me sick. I have lost a total of 60 pounds, which is good, but I am still losing the weight because I can’t eat and I’m just feeding on my J-Tube.
The doctor told me basically that there really isn’t much hope that I will ever eat normally again. She said that my disease is very unique and there aren’t very many people that have to face the kind and type of illness that I am facing. She reiterated that I have two issues, one with the stomach and one with the pancreas. Right now, they are going to focus on the stomach. Even though there is a chance I may never eat normally again, they are going to do a few things to try to help.
The first procedure they’re going to do is their going to go down my throat (do an endoscopy) and stick my stomach with Botox. It’s a muscle relaxer that is usually injected by people for wrinkles, but they’ve found it has other uses, and one of them is to help with those who have issues such as mine. It may or may not work, but it’s worth a try. They will be doing that next week sometime.
The second procedure will possibly be to put a Pacemaker in my stomach. They are not sure if I qualify for the pacemaker or not. They are consulting each other about the possibility of whether it is worth trying or not. What a pacemaker will do is help with my stomach motility. It may or may not work. So we’re waiting to hear whether or not the doctors will approve the pacemaker.
The third procedure is to put another tube called a Peg or G-Tube in my stomach. That will help me with the nausea and will help drain the gasses out of my stomach. It is very likely that I will get this tube before I come home to Texas.
The doctor told me that there is no easy fix for my situation. She said that she doesn’t know very many people that could handle not eating and doing what I’ve done. She said that I’m strong. Of course, I told her that My strength comes from Above and that I have a great support network.
Basically, even with these procedures, It’s not likely that I’ll eat normally. But if they can help the nausea, and if they can control some of the pain, I will try what they want me to. But we always have the pancreas to contend with. It could always flare up, and that’s a problem that we don’t really want to address because a pancreas surgery is so dangerous and could be life-threatening. It would be so much better just to not eat and live that way then to have my pancreas removed.
It’s a difficult thing, being told that even with surgeries and stuff, I will likely never eat normally. At this point, I’m just wanting to be able to have a bite of something every now and then. Hopefully what they do while I’m here in Maryland this time will give me that ability.
I’m very sad because it means that I’m going to be gone from my husband for a while, but we have to get this all done NOW and stop teeter-tottering with all of these trips back and forth. I want my life back, and I want to get things resolved now! But saying that, I miss my husband so much. He is my better half, my completer, and I adore Kevin. He loves me, too, and he knows that this is where I have to be. He is going to come for a visit in March, and hopefully I will have my procedures done before then or during that time. We are getting the ball rolling, but we are being realistic about things and timing.
Please pray for me while I’m here. Truthfully, I’m a bit discouraged, but that’s to be expected. I’m human! What you can pray for is first, that the Lord would Heal me if He sees fit. If not, please pray that the doctors will do the right things for me, that I won’t miss my life in Texas too much, and that my pancreas problem won’t flare up. Please pray for me as you see fit. I just want God’s will to be done in my life. I can do all things through Christ Who Strengthens me!
I love God, and I know that He’s going to be glorified no matter what. Thank you for your prayers. I know that this is complicated, but I know that Jesus is Lord, too. He can do all things. Thanks for reading this and thanks for caring enough to be my friend. I love you all.
Lots of love,

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Trip to Maryland Coming Up!

Dearest Friends and Family,
I wanted to tell you what is going on with me. Some of you may know and others do not, but you will soon know so I wanted to update everyone.
I became really sick about 2 weeks ago, and landed in the hospital. Well to make a long story short, I ended up very ill, vomiting and nausea and I haven’t eaten anything at all, so I was throwing up bile (sorry for the grossness!) Anyway, the doctors here in Texas put a NG tube in my nose going to my stomach to continually pump it out, which help. They were going to do a surgery here to put another tube in my stomach so I could drain it on my own, but my doctors at John’s Hopkins were consulted, and they really think they can do some other things for me. They are iffy and have some chance of working, but it’s not a 100% guarantee, but they want to see me right away and help me because I’m so ill.
I’m at the point right now where I’ve officially lost about 50 to 55 pounds and on the surface, I look pretty good. I just am ravaged and so sick and nauseated so badly all of the time on the inside. I feel so weak and last week I literally could not put the phone to my face to talk. It was that bad. But Kevin was with me by my side and I was so happy to have him with me.
So I say that to tell you that I am making an emergency trip home to Maryland on Thursday of this week. I will be there until they decide what to do at this point. They likely are going to want to consider a Gastric Pacemaker, which may or may not work. They will also be doing minor surgery to take my gallbladder out. They also may look at my pancreas, but I don’t know what if anything they’re going to do with that right now. If some of these things don’t work, I may end up with the G-tube, which is a tube to drain my stomach. That may be last resort. The pancreas procedure would be major, and I’d have to be pretty sure that that is what I want.
My goal is to be able to eat again. In my current state I am constantly nauseated. I vomit regularly if there is any kind of intake. I feed on my feeding machine. We are also getting hassle from the insurance company. Since September, they don’t want to pay for my feedings. We are worried because they are expensive, but they are the only way I can survive, so we have to have them. They don’t want to cover them because it’s a formula and they say it’s a supplement. It’s not…it’s what I live on. I can’t live on regular food. Anyway, it’s a mess. We need your prayers right now and God’s true intervention.
So many of you have been like angels to me. You all are precious and you are in my prayers. If you’ve ever asked me to pray for you, you can bet your name is in my prayer journal. Even many people I don’t personally know, I pray for if you mention them to me. I believe that prayer changes things. I need to do even more of it. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re sick, but everyone hurts and everyone has trials. This is just mine. And I thank you for walking through it with me.
Thank you for the calls, letters, emails and friendships. While I’m in Maryland/Virginia, it won’t be a luxury, pleasant vacation because my heart is here in Texas. I am so fortunate to have the best family in the world. My mom and dad and sisters take such good care of me while I’m there, but my heart is here, or at least the man that holds my heart is! Kevin has to work so I can have insurance so that I can get the treatment I need. But he and I worry and we love each other. We’re all we’ve ever known. Taking care of me is like breathing to him. He told me that he loves taking care of me. I don’t know why, but I am so in love with my husband. I really am. He is the light of my day, and I hate being away from him for 2 seconds. Thinking about possibly being gone for a month or more breaks my heart. Hopefully he can fly in for a long weekend or for Spring Break or something. Plane tickets are a lot, but we’ll manage.
I say this to say please pray, thank you for being my friend and thank you for your encouragement. God sure is good to me. Even through these trials, He’s opened my eyes. He’s brought into my life new friends, and I am so happy despite what I am going through.
Chronic illness is so hard, but I’m among those most blessed and many of you are my blessings.
Thanks for your prayers. I should have internet access here in Maryland when I get there later this week so I will try to keep updates now and then for you. My appointment at Hopkins is Tuesday afternoon.
I love you always,
Ami McCarty

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Latest Update!

Dear Friends and Family,
I haven’t updated my blog in a while, but I was up tonight and I couldn’t sleep, so I had the urge to write. I wanted to update you on what happened during my last doctor’s visit to Hopkins.
I had been putting off writing the blog because I don’t have a lot of great things happening health-wise and I don’t like dampening peoples’ spirits. When people think of me, I don’t want them to think of negative things. I want to be a positive force in peoples’ lives. I try my hardest to keep my chin up and muddle through my health problems. What is going on with me is hard to comprehend, hard to explain and tough to walk through. But if you have a few moments, I’ll share what’s been happening with me and my prognosis.
Most of you know that I have Chronic Pancreatitis. The doctors can not understand why I have it, or how I got it, but they all believe it is because of the Connective Tissue Disease (lupus) that I have. It’s attacking my pancreas and such. I also have Gastroparesis, which is a term that means the slowing of the stomach. I have 2 problems, both of which are hard to fix.
I went to the John’s Hopkins in December. I have lost more than 40 pounds as I’m not eating much of anything, and just tube feeding through my feeding tube, which is called a J-tube as it is in the small intestine. I’m down to just a small maintenance dose of prednisone, my steroid medication. I have a pain pump now, which is working, but still needs some tweaking to get it to the right level of medication for me. All of these things are great and they were pleased with all of my progress.
But the big problem I have is that I am not able to eat. When I eat (or drink some things) I get very nauseated and soimetimes I’ll throw up. The simplest things make me sick. At one point recently, I was allowing myself little treats…a small cookie or something every day, but even that would make me sick and I would feel the intense squeezings in my pancreas area. If I eat ANYTHING, I am so sick. So now I’m trying my best to just drink water and tea and coffee and that’s it. The doctors only want me eating ice chips and feeding on my machine. That’s so hard to do, so I allow myself a bit of leeway on my beverages.
Anyway, to get back to things, I had a CT scan done in December when I went back to John’s Hopkins in Baltimore. I see the head of the pancreas division and so I know I’m in good hands. He’s a brash person when it comes to dealing with things…he’s matter of fact, but that’s not always bad. He basically said that he doesn’t think I’ll ever be able to eat normally again. My pancreas is diseased and the only option for my pancreas is to actually take it out. BUT that is a severe and drastic operation. He only has a handful of patients that have ever had their pancreas taken out. It is not something that you do lightly. And I could be worse, not better than I am now. If they take the pancreas out, I will have severe diabetes. I’m already a diabetic, but I would be a far worse diabetic. My pain would likely go away, but I could get infection and other stuff from having the pancreas removed. He told me that he’s just not confident that he would want me to do that. My stomach doctor agreed. She said that she might consider putting a gastric pacemaker in me so that my stomach would move. The problem is that even if I get the pacemaker (which doesn’t have a high rate of success), I would still have pancreas problems and pancreatitis. So it doesn’t make sense to do that.
So basically they want to see me on March 6th back in Baltimore and they are going to discuss if I will have my pancreas looked at further and see if any surgery is possible. I just don’t know at this point. I am frustrated because just this week I was in the E.R. with pancreatitis pain again. Right now, I am having flares of it. As I said before, I was taking a bite here and there of things, but that triggered the pancreas and I got pancreatitis and ended up in the hospital. So I’m back to water and even though I’m not supposed to, I can’t live without coffee and tea.
So that’s it. I go back to Baltimore in March. We will decide about surgery then. I just can’t see myself living the rest of my life without eating. But I don’t know if I want to have the pancreas out either. I just want to do the right thing.
Am I complicated or what??? 
Saying all this, I know that with one touch, the Lord can Heal me. I believe in Him and His power and I want His healing hand. I need Him to touch me and make me whole. I will serve Him no matter what, and I know He wants to bless His children. I just pray for a miracle and if He decides that he doesn’t want to do a miracle, I pray for God’s wisdom to help me and Kevin know what to do!
Please pray for me how you see fit. I just need the prayer. Especially PLEASE pray for me to be able to resist food and not want to take a bite here and there. I need to stay away from food, but I don’t want to miss out on family get-togethers and stuff. Kevin and His family are so wonderful and accommodating to me. So are my parents. They all hate eating in front of me and they make me feel as comfortable as I can be. I will leave the room if seeing the food bothers me too much. Sometimes I’ll just wait until everyone is done eating. My poor husband doesn’t have any food in the house. He eats out at all times because I’m so tempted. I keep his favorite snacks in the house, and I’m not tempted because he likes things that I don’t, so that’s okay! He is such a kind person. Once I caught him eating in the car, so he wouldn’t bring it inside and make me smell it so it wouldn’t make me hungry. Isn’t that sweet? I just love my sweet Kevin!
It’s funny how you don’t realize how important something is until you can’t do it…eating is such a part of life and it’s the hardest thing not to eat. I’m so hungry all of the time. BUT I’ve got to remember that the consequences are worse than not eating. I hate being in the hospital. I hate pancreatitis.
I hope that I haven’t discouraged anyone. I’m not discouraged. I just don’t know what is next. It’s easy to tell myself that I can not eat for 2 more months, but It’s a lot harder to hear, “you may never eat normally for the rest of your life.”
Please never stop praying for me. I know prayer changes things.
Also know that NOTHING can steal my joy. Not this, not anything. My faith in my Savior Jesus Christ is all I need to make it through anything. I have the best of everything. God has been so good to me. I know that His way is perfect, and I’ve met some very great friends because of my health including my sweet friend Kayleigh and my dear Sheri, both of whom are walking through very similar situations as mine. I love sharing my life with them as they do with me. It’s comforting to talk to people who are ill and can relate to what we’re each going through. I pray for them daily.
I just wanted to share with you what was on my mind. Please keep reading and I will write more later. Pray for my next appointment, which is on March 6th at Hopkins.
I love you all. Thanks for caring enough to read this! You are special to me! And Remember…God is on the throne, and nothing is impossible when you put your life in His hands!
Ami McCarty