Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Kelli

1. No old house - We finished moving out of the old house. Thank goodness -- handed over the keys and waved in the rear-view mirror!

2. Can't find the new house! ... in the last week, we have been able to clear a path from the front door to the bedrooms and the kitchen. I know the cats are here, the food bowls get emptied after fill them ...

3. Cats. Did I mention we have a litter that no one would give away -- so now we have "cats"? I truly think my husband changed the phone number after I called the paper. I went to CA for a week on business, and everyone of those little stinkers was here when I get back. Did I mention they like to hide behind the stacks of boxes and attack you as you walk by ... hehe

4. Rain. I love love love the rain --- can't get enough. Hate heat ... love love love the rain. We have been getting these luscious rainstorms complete with thunder and lightning every night.

5. Dog. Did I mention we have the first hybrid chicken / golden retriever. Wiley will get on our bed, when it rains, and hides under the pillows ... not his head ... all 80 pounds of his quivering flesh ... and whines ... it's hysterical. Especially to the cats, who sit and start with their little heads cocked to the side .... thinking... schemeing ... planning

6. Dialysis team. I have the absolute BEST dialysis team .. hands down .. don't even tell me that YOU have a better one. They return my calls promptly, listen to me, help me know when to panic and when not to and laugh at my stupid jokes. Everything is laced with humor - get over it -- it's who I am.

7. Humor. Humor gets me through the day ... even when I am stuck to the dialysis bag -- like I am right now while I type this. Cable guy comes in to setup the TV and looks at me, the bag, the pole and sortof stops. Looks. Doesn't know what to say -- so I pop of with, Hey - want to pull up a chair? I'm buying the first round...

8. Everday normalcy. -- ready to laugh? I still, well you know, uh - pee. ROFL --- when your kidneys are failing - you celebrate the little things. Went to the DR. laast week and she calmly stated "Your urinary output is amazingly strong" -- and we all whooped it up! So ... remember that the next time you ... well, ya know ... be thankful for the little things ...

9. Water. I hate water really -- truly, deeply, madly, passionately. But it's all I can drink. With lemon or without -- I now hate it.

10. Diet Coke. My life, love and "mister" of my soul (well, I can't very well have a mistress) ... and so totally OFF LIMITS to me now because of phosporous (the stuff that makes it dark), that I actually cried about it. Of all the issues I had to deal with, I cried - bawled like a baby - over no more Diet Coke. Sick - but true. Jobs will be lost ... countries will fall ..

11. Kati. She makes me laugh, she makes me proud. She has taken over so much without asking and her heart is huge. She loves the Lord sooo much.

12. Bumsch. He is the light of my heart and still lets me cuddle with him. He holds my hand in public and hugs me when he gets out of the car at school. He loves the Lord and still blushes and changes the channel when people start to kiss on TV. And he's 12.

13. Insurance and Medicaire. I just got the bill for the dialysis training and fell out of my chair. $5,000 for just 5 days of glorious retreat at Hotel Billings Clinic. And I didn't even get a mint on the pillow. oh- got a letter from the SS Administration yesterday that formally informed me, in writing, that they have determined I have potentially life-threatening kidney issue. Thanks for the heads up! Again - fell out of my chair laughin'. Whats with that. Seriously.

And that is this past week ... in a Thursday Thirteen minute :)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Friday, June 23, 2006

quick update!

Hi all -- saw the doctor today for the monthly catch-up. Things still look good all around which is amazing! we have to wait til Monday for some further results that didn't get done in time, but here are the main concern points right now in order of importance

* weight -- the dialysis solution is basically sugar water, and because of how I assimilate the fluid, I'm grabbing every calorie in that sugar there is to grab - putting me further away from transplant. It's plain frustrating to be honest. We will try new things in a week to offest with a new dialysis method, so keep your fingers crossed ...

* red blood cells -- if the oral iron doesn't kick in within the month, I'll need to start going in weekly for an IV infusion - yuck - but need to get the red cell count up. Its affecting the way I feel as far as energy (that and working 50+ hours a week and moving to a new house - lol)

Other than that - everyone is thoroughly please with the dialysis and how its going! SO thanks for your prayers everyone!!!

Once we get closer to meeting some of these goals, we can start testing donors for compatibility --- since my gfr (kidney function)is still holding up at the bottom end of Stage 4 Failure and not going to Stage 5 (the worst one), we want to transplant as quickly as possible, in the next year if possible!

Thanks again --- we really appreiciate everything that you all are doing to help )

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fathers Day

A.M Rush

Homecoming August 22, 2006

Dad had his homecoming last year, after a wonderful 4 months post-diagnosis of cancer, with most of his family around him.

For those of you that knew him, or didn't, this is his legacy ...

He was born in 1926 to a Jewish father and Gentile mother, that would both die when he was 11. Raised by his grandparents, and sent to military academy in Lexington, TN - he would go on to teach flying to those in the Army Air Corp at 16. His first love was flying, having solo'd at the age of 9.

At 18, he fell in love, got married, having two great kids- Randy and Robin. Years later, his marriage failing and without hope, he put a gun to his head in despair and pulled the trigger. The gun didn't fire, and he decided to give God a chance - knowing that he could always try suicide again if God wasn't real.

God was real, and although his marriage finally ended when his wife left him and gained custody of the kids, he continued on in the walk that was before him. His heart ached every day after that for the loss that he had in not being there for his kids -- and he talked of it right to the end. He regreted not fighting for them harder, but in the day, fathers did not have the opportunites that exist now in those situations. Randy would pass away at the age of 19, and Robin would eventually lose contact with him as well shortly after his first grandchild was born. At the end, he still apoke of his love for them, how he missed them, and how his heart ached not knowing if they had truly made a commitment to turn their lives over to God.

Eventually, he remarried and I was born. Dad spent his life populating heaven, whether by bringing hitchhikers home, praying over everyone including witches and mediums that were speaking on the talk show he filmed daily in LA, leaving tracks at every place he ever stopped, teaching in homes, talking to people on the street, or by living his life as an example of what God can do to a man who trusts Him.

My dad was funny, loving and my best friend. He was someone who was knocked around in his personal life, but trusted God that it was all in the plan. He loved his kids, my mom and life.

No one that came in contact with him, was untouched by his faith. No one.

When he became sick, and after he died, we heard so much about the man he was -- more so sometimes that I think I knew. Right to the end, he made sure he was still touching lives, standing in the gap. He sat my kids down, who were 11 and 12, and told them about what Revelation says will happen soon and what they need to watch for, pray for and be prepared for. He prayed over them and loved them with every fiber of his being.

He made sure that my mom had something to remember him by at her birthday and their anniversary, since this would be last ones right before he died. He planned to have them renew their wedding vows, something he never wanted to do and fought against, because he knew it would mean so much to my mom. And they did -- and it was beautiful.


When someone close to you gets sick, you can reach out and treasure the moments-- or you can deny the reality and lose those moments until its too late. You can shut out those around you, and project feelings of anger at the one who is soon to leave.

All of this is natural -- but please be careful.

Those are moments you will never recapture. Although the person that is soon to leave may understand, the feeling that you are left with after they are gone can be brutal --- grief is not an eay journey in itself, but lighting the path you must walk wiht hot coals does not make it any easier.

If you are faced with loss, treasure the time and give of yourself, rather than focus on yourself.

Make the memories --- I miss my dad, but my heart is full and so are my memories. Even when he was not lucent enough to have a real conversation -and thought I sold fish every day -- those funny conversations are memories I will relive, laugh at and cling to every moment that I miss him so mcu that I feel I cannot take another breath.

Most of all, know your future. Know where your faith lies and where your eternal soul rests. Be assured that your soul has found its place through a commitment to Christ.

If you do not know Christ as your personal saviour, contact us -- pick up a Bible -- go to church --- talk to someone you know that does know God as their personal Lord and Saviour --- or fall on your knees and just ask God to reveal himself to you and be Lord of your life.

That would be the best Fathers Day present you could give yourself. That is the legacy that my dad left --- to fill another place in Heaven with another soul that will never know pain or suffering again once they reach their eternal home.

Celebrate the Day! Celebrate Life! Celebrate the freedom that we have in Christ.


We all want to make our place in this world
We all want our voices to be heard
Everyone wants a chance to be someone
We all have dreams we need to dream
But sweeter than any star you can reach
Is when you reach and find you've found someone
You'll hold this world's most priceless thing
The greatest gift this life can bring
If you can look back and know
You were loved.

You can have diamonds in your hand.
Have all the riches in the land
Without love do you really have a thing
When someone cares that you're alive
When someone finds their world in your eyes
Then you'll know you've find all you need
You'll hold this world's most priceless prize
The sweetest treasure in this world
If you can look back and say
You were loved

So many roads that you can take
Whatever way you go
Don't take that road alone
Better you should know...
You were loved by someone
Touched by someone
Held by someone
Meant something to someone
Loved somebody
Touched somebody's heart along the way
You can look back and say
You did OK
You were loved.
So remember to tell that one
You are loved.


Happy Fathers Day

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

haha funny funny

enough of the moody ... here is a snicker for you ...

A Baptist couple decide that they want to get a dog. As they are walking down the street in town, they notice that a sign in the pet shop is advertising "Christian Puppies." Their interest piqued, they go inside.

"How do you know they're Christian puppies?"

"Watch," says the owner, as he takes one of the dogs and says, "Fetch the Bible." The dog runs over to the desk, and grabs the Bible in its mouth and returns. Putting the Bible on the floor, the owner says, "Find Psalm 23." The dog flips pages with its paw until he reaches the right page, and then stops. Amazed and delighted, the couple purchase the dog and head home.

That evening, they invite some friends over and show them the dog, having him run through his Psalm 23 routine. Impressed, one of the visitors asks "Does he also know 'regular' commands?"

"Gee, we don't know. We didn't ask," replies the husband.

Turning to the dog, he says, "Sit." The dog sits. He says, "Lie down." The dog lies down. He says "Roll over." The dog rolls over.

He says "Heel." The dog runs over to him, jumps up on the sofa, puts both paws on the owner's forehead and bows his head.

"Oh Lord!" the wife exclaims. "He's PENTECOSTAL!"

Report Cards Are In :)

Hi all --

Had to share year-end report cards!!

Jonathan and Kati both came away with 4.0+ averages, and completed their 4th quarter of being on the Principal's High Honors Roll. On their Iowa test scores, Jonathan scored in the top 2% of all 6th graders nationwide; Kati scored in the top 10% of 7th graders nationwide. Both scored college-level and above on reading and comprehension.

Just a proud mom!

Blessings :)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Jonathan - 12 years old - our State Robotics Champion

Jonathan and his 6th grade Gifted/Talented class at Canyon Creek participated in the FIRST LEGO League Robotics Champiosnhip in Bozeman, MT in April. They took the Grand Championship Prize, the Director's Award --- we were extrememy proud of their accomplishment, but more so of their character displayed at the event which won them the prize, as well as the respect of the other teams and judges as evidenced by the official description of the award they earned:

The Director’s Award is the most prestigious award that any team can win. The Director’s Award celebrates the ultimate success of the FIRST mission and FLL Values. It measures how the children inspire and motivate others about the accessibility, excitement, and wonders of science, technology, and engineering while demonstrating respect, encouragement, and continued gracious professionalism. The winning team receives the honor of serving as a valued role model for FIRST and the FIRST LEGO League Program.

Teams considered for the Director’s Award are those that perform well in technical and team performance categories, which are equally weighted. Once teams are selected, judges review the results of the teams’ FLL Values Assessment interviews. Using this final parameter for determination, judges will decide which team(s) will receive this most coveted award.

Kati -- our beautiful 13 year old at the school dance

I have hope that they will be ok ---

We have hope in the midst of all this. I worry the most about the kids, having lost two grandparents in the last year, moving and leaving friends for awhile, me getting sick, etc. But Kati had to write a paper for her English final about “What I learned This Year in the 7th Grade” – and I was given hope. Hope that she will be ok, that God has His Hand firmly in her heart and that she trusts Him. I hope you take something away from it as well.




 What have I learned this year? Let me think about that. Academically, I have learned a lot. However, I have learned even more about my surroundings and the people who inhabit them.

            Assignments should be re-read before you turn them in, and asking a question does not make you second-rate. I’ve learned that history is not at all boring, but math is. I am exceptionally creative, and have enjoyed exploring different media in art. I’ve taken pleasure in the camaraderie of Study Hall, and the ongoing challenge of Mr. Jackson’s brain-busting riddles

            Socially, I’ve learned there are several types of animals in middle school. There are the predatory carnivores that tear into their prey at any chance they get.  They look for any opportunity to increases their existence by attempting to crush those they feel are inferior or weak. Then there are the omnivores, those who are decent and kind and will restrain themselves from eating you alive, but are still not friendly towards you or that sort of thing.  And finally, there are the herbivores, which are friendly towards you; they actually seek you out and enjoy your company.

            From my mother, I have learned that you can tell a lot about a child’s upbringing by their attitude towards others, especially other children. Also, people who take more pride in their appearance or status, but not in their studies, have been raised to understand that looks will get you everywhere. I have developed somewhat of sympathy for these people, because without a proper education, most will not go as far as they could. Although Bill Gates did not complete his college education, and is the richest man alive today, he has demonstrated that continuing to learn and take risks is the key to success.

            My paternal grandfather, a successful physician, taught me (by example) that you should not be a horrible person and wait until the end to gain acceptance and forgiveness from those closest to you. You end up alone, with nothing to make you happy, even if you have all the money in the world. Live your life with no reason to feel regret.

            My maternal grandfather’s legacy was that God makes miracles. At 23, he attempted suicide, but the gun failed to go off. At that moment, he decided to get his life together, became a man of the Lord – with the mentality that, if that didn’t work out, he could always try it again. He never did, and ended up living a long and happy life. He was a man of mercy and grace, whose life was an example I hope to emulate.

            From my father, I’ve learned that people are like cats. If you treat them well, you have made a loyal friend for life.

            Lastly, from myself, I have discovered something about myself this year as well. I am too blunt for my own good, and that trait can make me either extremely annoying or a really good friend. The ability to tell someone that there are being stupid, I feel, is quite irritating, but at times, can be very necessary.

            Even though I’ve learned such an enormous amount this year, there are alot of things that I wish I could’ve mastered as well.

            I wish I could have learned how to take better care of myself, and how to control my feelings. I want to be more responsible, and restrain myself from doing things I know I will later regret.

I wish that I had learned I have no control over the bad things that happen to the people that I love, such as them getting sick or dying. I want to learn how to accept help from others; I want to learn to grieve.  

I suppose one cannot alter their personality or nature unless they feel a large amount of motivation to do so. Even then, maybe it’s best that some people don’t change too much, for if they did, they wouldn’t be themselves anymore, but become someone else another person, possibly losing their better traits.

            In conclusion, I feel that one should continue learning, and live what they’ve learned. Keep that in mind, and you might become a contented person one day.



Saturday, June 03, 2006

June 3 Update

At the 2 week PD mark (PD is home dialysis) we received bad news. Dialysis was not working and my blood work was grossly in error. BUN and creatinine were the biggest offenders and needed to change if I was not to go on hemodialysis.

This would not be good for several reasons, the least amongst that I would not be able to work anymore and would have to be on disability until after transplant. I currently have the best job- I work from home in call center management, doing what I love, but remotely- so this is a great fit for me.

Well, we had our 4 week followup this pasat week, and found our the following:

  • BUN was 96, normal is below 18, and they wanted it to drop to 75 initially. It was 55!
    • BUN is the poison in the body, not processed out since the kidneys don't work
  • Creatinine was 8.6, and fell to 6.1
    • Another bad sign of poisoning
  • Anemia was 11.0, borderline and fell to 10.4- and stabilized. I will administer a weekly shot, but heck- thats ok
  • My blood pressure is averaging 121/80 or lower :)
  • I am off all medication except a Vitamin D supplent, as my body no longer makes it; a Renal Vitamin, to replenish what I cannot make; Iron, for anemia and Tums (yuck) to bind the phosophorous that I can't get rid of (no more Diet Coke- sigh)

Through all of this, we also received news that the temporary housing we have been in since returning from Oregon this past summer after dad had his homecoming, was on the market and we had to move wtihin 30 days.

God found and secured us a house on 20 acres in the mountains. in the same neighborhood as the dream home we gave up to be with mom and dad this past summer after his diagnosis, where the kids friends are ---- and since we both work from home now FT- we sit and look at three different mountain ranges while nestled amongst the pine trees. We are truly blessed.

I share this next piece with you -- I heard this song the first day of dialysis--- I claim it every day.

May God Hold Each of You in His Hand


Our Journey to Transplant Has begun ....

So many of you are praying for us during this time, that I thought this would be the easiest way to give quick updates.

To recap - our journey began the beginning of this year, 2006, when I found out I was in kidney failure. A scary time, absolutely! But we have faith in God that he will keep us in His Plan.

I began home dialysis May 2006- after having a catherter surgically implanted in my abdomen. I do the "exchange" 4 times a day --- drain the sugar water dialysis fluid out, then fill back up with another 2500 cc of sugar water.

This allows the poisons to be processed out, and the extra fluid to be taken as well.

All of this, while we wait to get me on the transplant list at the Univeristy of Utah. They seem to have great success, shorter wait times. And, my nephrologist did some time there and has a relationship with the tranplant staff- always a PLUS!

So- in a nutshell - there it is.

Your prayers are coveted for several things:

  • Resolution in whatever way God sees to complete it
  • The eventual donor and their family - whether living or not
  • For the team that oversees my care: Dr. Heather MacGuire, Sharon, Tami, Diane, Connie not only for their oversight, but that God will touch them and show them His Greatness through all of this.
  • For our family - after losing two grandparents in the last year (John and I both lost our dads) and this, we have become stronger - but still struggle at times too
Well--- thanks for everything all of you! Keep in touch - we can be reached at or AIM jkbach.

Love to all ----

Kelli and the family