Wow, This is my Life!!!

 

💗 To say this week was humbling would be an understatement. I am so grateful for each and every single human being I interact with at Cedars Sinai hospital. The relationships God has allowed me to build there are life changing. Surgery went great. My surgeon was happy with the results. I went home just as planned. I had the drains like I have had many times before (and planned) in my abdomen. 

💗 What was unexpected is several days after recovery I began having complications. My ostomy bag output began coming through my drainage tubes. This has never happened before nor should it! So I was headed back down to Cedars after a call with my doctor. I spent Tuesday undergoing a couple different tests to try and get to the bottom of the issue. The first test they did was inserting an iodine combo into my drainage tube to push through my wound site and see how it distributed through my body. This was to check for fistulas, punctures, leaks, etc. They took X-rays and had me changing positions and rolling around for an hour or so. The next test was a saline enema (pictured below) Correct that is NOT an IV bag.

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💗  I had this done once before but had a much different experience this time. So basically they take off my ostomy bag and insert that tubing into my small intestine. They then push all of that liquid into my intestine. I then change positions and roll around for more imagining until complete. Well while they do this they tape a long clear plastic bag around the ostomy site in case of leaking or spilling over. When they remove the tubing my intestine begins to fountain the liquid back out. They have me laying on my side so that it will fall into the clear bag and obviously not make a mess. Well the other thing that comes out of my bag as we all know is my own feces. So I’m laying there exposed on the hospital table looking down at a large clear bag full of my “crap” hanging from my stomach in the most vulnerable position I could possibly be in. I had to stay there in this position for over 30 minutes because my bag would not stop flowing. It was a very humbling moment for me as people walked in and out of the room. I laid there thinking to myself, “wow this my life!” 

(Don’t worry I will spare you the photos of that scene haha)

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💗 I had additional tests done on Thursday. These were ones that involved drinking “fun” tasting beverages and lighting your insides up for viewing! After everything was said and done… the drains got to come out! I got to go home! If you all pictured the image of me laying on the table with the long clear bag… Well on the drive home Thursday the fluid I had drank kept coming through my ostomy bag. I emptied my bag 4x before leaving the hospital but ended up soaking wet by the time I arrived home. It exploded! My pants were soaked. My newly dressed wound site had to be redone, a whole new ostomy change, laundry and car cleaned! It was a good welcome home to say the least!!! But Glory be to God we found no leaks. No punctures. No fistulas. So amen to that! We still have no idea what or how this happened though. Now I will just monitor myself at home to make sure I don’t show any signs of infection. The tests did show I have a small portion of dilated intestine, about 5cm. I am not sure how they will handle that yet. Right now I am just going to rest and take one day at a time. We will address the next steps at my check up in 8-12 weeks!

My surgeon is wearing a hat because his wife gave him a bad haircut 😊 

My favorite guy has been with me on every one of these “cyst” procedures!!!

💗 A very dear friend of mine… we met when we were 14 years old and have carried our friendship over 25+ years now! Who knew that being victors and not victims would bring us even closer together!!! 💪🏻 As she has faced her own heath battles. This is the sweetest thing I have ever shared with a friend and I am forever grateful for HER and for her heart. Beautiful women prayed over this shawl for her as they each took part in making a different piece and praying over it before gifting it to her. She wore it every day during her chemo treatments and took it with her to her procedures. She selflessly gifted it to me when her treatments were complete! Little did we know she would need it back again! The two of us have continued to share this shawl full of prayer back and forth with one another covering each other in LOVE and in HOPE.

🙏🏻 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that when the handkerchiefs      or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, their diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them Acts 19:11-12 🙏🏻

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💗 Newest Update on my financial situation– God continues to work in this area of my life daily. I like to keep the specific ways private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that EVERY single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. Thank you to my loving, supportive family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to bless me and saturate me in love. As of right now the only two bills I have that are outstanding only equal just over 1,000$!!! That is after 8 years of being sick!!! He has met my every need… God is so good! 😊 

All for HIM Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

https://wordpress.com/page/kimskause.wordpress.com/

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/

HOPE

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💗 I know it has been awhile since we last spoke… a lot has been going on in the world since then. I pray that each and everyone of  you is well. I have been praying for all of us as a whole and for our country. Hope is contagious and it is ALIVE…
💗  Just a little update on me: I had gone in a few weeks ago for an abdominal MRI and then was scheduled to address my bladder… (if you guys remember from my last blog it had prolapsed again) After examining the results they found that I have yet another cystic mass but this time it is so large it is taking up my entire abdominal cavity pushing out on the abdominal wall and actually the cause pushing the bladder out. So until the mass is addressed the bladder can’t be. It then showed that I have another cyst wrapped around my left ovary mixed with some sort of tissue. That one is like a golf ball in size. The problem with this one is as of now it is only accessible through the back side of me and it is to dangerous because of where it is located near the sciatic nerve. So we are going for the large cystic mass first this Thursday! I check in at 6:30am for surgery on the 2nd of July! I went down and had my Covid testing today… so that I am approved for surgery! I either got a really gentle nurse or it isn’t really that bad! 😊
Once again Cedars running everything smooth and safe! Covid line/testing lot!
💗  I then had a discussion with both my radiologist surgeon and my OB about the reoccurring cyst activity. They are coming back more bigger and more aggressively which can potentially lead to other things like ovarian cancer, blood poisoning, etc. I knew this all before hand but we are now on the 8th time of repairing these things! So I am once again faced with the decision of removing my ovaries/ fallopian tubes. My OB and my radiologist are a little at odds about this. My radiologist is pretty sure my ovaries/ tubes that were left is the cause of all the fluid and activity in my abdomen. My OB believes it very well could be but says there is no guarantee. He is definitely on the more cautious side when it comes to these things! I greatly appreciate and value both of their opinions. I understand why they kept my ovaries/tubes prior. I know removing them is a major surgery and I also know being forced into menopause is a lot more difficult then it happening naturally. I think for me if there is any possibility this could end things in this area of my health I am willing to risk it! 🤷🏻‍♀️ I turn 40 in September this year and am thinking maybe this is my year of health?!?  Maybe after these next two surgeries I could make a complete come back! 
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  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Philippians 1:6

 hope
/hōp/
Learn to pronounce
noun
noun: hope; plural noun: hopes
1.
a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
“he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information”
 
Similar:
aspirationdesire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, plan, dream, daydream, pipe dream, longing, yearning, craving, hankering, a person or thing that may help or save someone.
“their only hope is surgery”
 
Similar:
optimism, grounds for hopepromise, light at the end of the tunnel 
 
Opposite:
pessimism 
grounds for believing that something good may happen.
“he does see some hope for the future”
 
Similar:
hopefulness, optimism, expectation, expectancy, confidence, faith, trust, belief, conviction, assurance 
2.
ARCHAIC
a feeling of trust.

💗 HOPE is the foundation of how I have lived my life the last 8 years! Not the “hope” that I may get better, not the “hope” that I will get married or have material things… but the HOPE that I have in Jesus Christ. These words listed above to describe HOPE are incredible. Desire, Conviction, Promise, Faith, Trust, Confidence. People ask me constantly how I stay so positive after such a lengthy of time being so sick… the answer is HOPE! Jesus bore the weight of the world for me so that I may have to have eternal life. An eternal life.

“When God satisfies us so deeply that we’re free to love other people then he becomes more manifest. And that’s what we want above all. Hope is when God has promised that something is going to happen and you put your trust in that promise. Christian hope is a confidence that something will come to pass because God has promised it will come to pass.” -John Piper 💗

 

💗 Newest Update on my financial situation– God continues to work in this area of my life daily. I like to keep the specific ways private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that EVERY single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. As far as my goal for my surgeons office It has been PAID off!!! My surgeons office is absolutely incredible… what was just suppose to be a six month period of time to raise the smaller amount of money has been just about a year now! Over 30,000$ taken off my bill if I was able to pay the smaller amount by the deadline they so graciously kept extending to me. My total bill was just under 50,000$ and I was asked to pay just 15,000$ of that to have a clean slate with them. After sending out my last blog that goal has been met! Thank you to my loving, supportive family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to bless me and saturate me in love. As of right now the only two bills I have that are outstanding only equal about 1,000$!!! That is after 8 years of being sick!!! He has met my every need… God is so good! 😊 

Zero balance!!!!

🎶 I put my faith in Jesus
My anchor to the ground
My hope and firm foundation
He’ll never let me down 🎶

💗 I will keep you updated as I recover this week and what the next step will be! I do know there will be at least one more surgery ahead what that looks like will be the question? I will tell you that I have some pretty exciting news but I am going to save it for my next blog!!! I am over the moon about it! I am telling you God is good.

All for HIM Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

https://wordpress.com/page/kimskause.wordpress.com/

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/

Dry Bones Awaken…

IMG_3634Jesus you are welcome here… Good Friday.

 

💗 Good Friday started off great! We had a wonderful church service from home, dinner and even played a few rounds of Yahtzee! Our new family fun quarantine tradition! As the night came to a close I began to get sharp pains that did not want to subside. I did not sleep at all that night as the pain became worse and I could not find a solution to control it. Saturday morning rolled around I was able to sneak a few hours of sleep in out of pure exhaustion and soak in a small amount of epsom salt water. Later that afternoon I had a low grade fever starting around 99.4. I took Tylenol and tried to get comfortable but the pain just intensified. My temperature rose to 102.1. My parents wanted me to call my doctors but I knew regardless of which one I chose to call it was the weekend and a holiday weekend at that! If you tell a doctor you have excruciating pain and a high fever they are going to tell you to go to the ER!!! There was no way I was going to do that. I can’t take pain medicine and I wasn’t going to wait hours on hours for a ER doctor to not know what to do with me sitting in a room with a bunch of  people who are sick. So I chose to push through and wait till Monday. Well Saturday evening came and I hit the floor, hard. Sure enough a cyst burst. The pressure was enormous but I knew this pain from previous battles and knew it would pass. My parents helped me back into my bed. My fever broke. I thought things would start to look up… but they ended up getting much worse. I began screaming as it felt like shards of glass were coming through my stoma (small intestine) It was so so painful. I had no idea what was happening?!? I spent most of Sunday (Easter) asleep. Which was very much needed but when I awoke I was in the same shape. The pain had intensified even. I now couldn’t even sit. The amount of pain from tailbone region was insane. It was like when I had my rectum removed. My food would not pass through any longer. I was a wreck. I tried everything from heating pads, ice packs, lidocaine patches, a tense unit, hot baths, tylenol, knocking myself out with xanax… I mean anything in my home I had I tried or did. So after another sleepless night I waited patiently till my surgeons office opened Monday morning and called. He got me in right away and down to Cedars I went.

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💗 It turns out I have a pretty bad intestinal infection. He did a scope on me while in his office and I was very inflamed. I am currently back at home on antibiotics. If the pain does not subside by the end of my antibiotic round I will most likely be admitted for further testing to get to the bottom of things. So far the pain has not changed. I still have not eaten much of anything. I spent last night in an empty tub with my “red robin” It is my intestine unblocker! It is about 18′ inches long and I remove my ostomy bag and stick it into my stoma as far as it will go till I hit the blockage to make my output start flowing but the thing is…. it goes all the way in every time NO blockage but still NO output! My skin is raw from my bag changes and my stomach is so swollen. So I am sticking to liquids for the most part right now because food just hurts too much. Then if things weren’t crazy enough late Wednesday night my bladder prolapsed again for a fourth time. 

Red Robin, Scope at Surgeons Office, Temperature

💗 If there was ever a perfect song for this time! “The Lord is in this place” this verse sings to my heart over and over… I’m not enough unless YOU come! Dry Bones Awaken…

💗 I couldn’t help but think all weekend about Jesus while going through my pain. Here it is Easter weekend… the weekend Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for You and I. He bore the weight of the world so that you and I may never know what pain like that feels like… He was mocked and laughed at as he hung from the cross bleeding to his death. I don’t have a clue what suffering even is. The pain I am feeling is so temporary so minuscule to what he went through. My strength, my backbone comes from the Lord. I think about him and what he endured and it gives me the push I need. I think of him and his courage and his bravery. I think of him and his selfless heart and his incomparable and unconditional love he carries for you and I… this is our time. This is our time to be the church! There are so many beautiful structures for us to gather in to worship but WE are the church! The people who love and serve our Father… What better time then NOW during the chaos and fear of our world to shine a ray of HOPE! To show his strength, his selfless heart and his unconditional love to others… It is one thing to listen to a sermon but to live it is a whole different story! Lets love our neighbors during these times. Lets love on strangers. Lets call our families, our friends, our acquaintances who may be alone and TALK to them and do it regularly. Lets care for others. Lets send cards, care packages, letters, and video calls… those that are able lets help with errands, chores, etc… Lets love one another! Dry Bones Awaken it is time for Jesus to be in this place!!! Lets live and breath LOVE!!! Lets live out the Gospel…

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor,serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. -Romans 12: 10-13

💗 There will always be uncertainty in the world but the constant is God and when you have that foundation there is no fear. My prayer is that those with fear in their hearts would be comforted during this time. Those with pain would be consumed with the Holy Spirit. Those who haven’t experienced the presence of God would welcome that joy into their lives… That we as a whole would LOVE and LOVE whole heartily. I am so thankful for each and every one of you. I am so blessed to have this time to connect with you. I am so encouraged to have this recharge of life with God. This time to be in the word and to really focus on what matters… I pray that everyone continues to stay healthy!

 

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💗 Newest Update on my financial situation– God continues to work in this area of my life daily. I like to keep the specific ways private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that EVERY single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. As far as my goal for my surgeons office It has been PAID off!!! My surgeons office is absolutely incredible… what was just suppose to be a six month period of time to raise the smaller amount of money has been just about a year now! Over 30,000$ taken off my bill if I was able to pay the smaller amount by the deadline they so graciously kept extending to me. My total bill was just under 50,000$ and I was asked to pay just 15,000$ of that to have a clean slate with them. After sending out this blog just a few days ago this goal has been met! Thank you to my loving, supportive family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to bless me and saturate me in love. God is so good! 😊

All for HIM Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

https://wordpress.com/page/kimskause.wordpress.com/

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/

Goodbye Sweet Girl…

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💗 This will be the hardest blog I have ever had to write… because once I write it I will have to face the fact that she is never coming back. My sweet girl went to be with Jesus Sunday evening. This is an entirely different type of pain than I am used to. My heart hurts like something I’ve never experienced before. She is the one who I would normally go to for comfort if I was hurting like this. The one who cuddles with me at night. The one who lays with me endlessly during my recoveries. She is the one who literally would lick my tears from my face when I cried. Most people have a spouse, or significant other, children, etc… They have that “special person” in their life. Jersie Mae was that special person for me. The one that was always there. We lived in 3 states together, 8 different apartments/homes, took numerous road trips together… She was with me through my break ups, my different jobs… She was with me when I got sick. The friend that NEVER left my side no matter how scary things got. She always made me smile, gave me something to look forward to coming home too. The bond I shared with JersieMae will never be replaced. She has been my absolute world for the last 13 years. She was not my just my dog. She was and always will be my best friend.

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💗 At the same time my sweet girl went to see Jesus so did my parents sweet boy Tucker. He was 16 years old bless his little heart. Ever since I moved back in with my parents (almost 6 years ago now) these two have been roomies. Not always getting along as my little stinker was very territorial. But Tucker was the most loving boy you’d ever meet. In the ending days they cuddled daily with me just like when I first moved in. As all three of us were cozy in my bed the morning before they passed I was lucky enough to sneak this picture of the two of them holding hands. 

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💗 My sweet girls back legs were paralyzed for the most part. Day by day they were getting worse. I was using a doggy stroller to get her around and taking her potty was getting harder and harder because she had lost all feeling. Accidents were becoming more frequent and by frequent I mean daily. The tumor in her mouth had become painful enough where toward the last days it hurt her to even bark and she had stopped eating. For those that knew my baby girl refusing food is unheard of. So I knew it was time. I asked God over and over to give me the peace that I was doing the right thing… that morning I woke up to Jersie throwing up and going potty all over my bed. Even though it may not of been the kind of sign I wanted I knew my baby needed to be with Jesus. As for our sweet Tucker, being 16 he has had health issues for awhile now. Just the week before he suffered a massive stroke where we thought we actually had lost him. He couldn’t see or hear us and he just laid still for an hour or two. He did recover from that but not fully. He had become very afraid. He didn’t want to be left alone even for a minute, he couldn’t settle, always pacing… Plus his entire mouth was infected and he needed surgery. The chances of him making it through a surgery after that were slim. So we made the decision to let them go together side by side. 

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💗 An amazing group called Lap of Love came to our home, the doctor loved on our pups as we held them. We had praise music playing the entire time and she gave them each one shot to ease them and their pain. We held our babies and said our goodbyes while they slept and she gave them their final injection. We wrapped them in blankets and carried them to the car that was waiting downstairs. It was a very peaceful process. Lap of Love was incredible every step of the way.

💗 Our house is quite empty now. There are no tippy toes on our hard wood floors. There is no more snoring. No one is barking when the door bell rings. I no longer have to be careful to get up in the middle of the night because I have no one to wake or trip over… It is a very lonely feeling. But I know our babies are with Jesus and that gives me peace and comfort. I know that their pain and their suffering has ended and that gives me joy. After all isn’t that what we all want for our loved ones? Parents always say if I could take your pain I would or if I could trade places with you I would in a heart beat. I am hurting. I am hurting badly. My heart is shattered right now but I would never want my monkey to feel that. I would never want to trade places with her and leave this world and have her feel what I am right now. I am happy to go through the hurt so that my babies are with Jesus and their pain has ended. Finding the joy in something even as devastating as this gives me hope. I am confident with time God will help heal my heart and comfort me through the pain.

🎶 Light up this broken heart and light my way
‘Til my time on earth is done
Oh, Holy Spirit
Breathe in me like Kingdom come
Oh, Holy Spirit
Let Your work in me be done 🎶

💗 I know this has been an extra long blog this time around but I do want to give just a quick update on my health. So as you know I went in for my 16th surgery in January. Shortly after I went in to see my colorectal surgeon aka “the GENIUS” (pictured below) Thats the surgeon who has done all my major ordeals! I finally made him pose for me. I had to go under yet again for what is known as a pouchoscopy… they basically put me under anesthesia and go inside and look at my internal pouch made from my small intestine. What they discovered is I have an infection called pouchitis. This is fairly common for people with a J Pouch but I do not have a connected J pouch any longer. So it isn’t as common. My hernia is also quite large behind my small intestine. There are other issues I will spare the details but the options I have are basically to have the internal pouch removed permanently or to live with the issues I am dealing with. I go back March 13th for an MRI of the abdomen and further testing to see the status of the cyst progression and hernia. I will keep you all updated on further issues. For now I will deal with things as I am in no state to be making major decisions.

💗 Newest Update on my financial situation– God continues to work in this area of my life daily. I like to keep the specific ways private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that EVERY single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. As far as my goal for my surgeons office I am still a little ways a way but I am faithful. Due to this last procedure I had it will add a bit on to the overall total since he was the acting surgeon. My surgeons office is absolutely incredible though… what was just suppose to be a six month period of time to raise the money has been just about a year now! Over 30,000$ taken off my bill if I am able to pay the smaller amount by the deadline they so graciously keep extending to me. Some people have asked specific amounts… My total bill is just under 50,000$ I am asked to pay 15,000$ of that to have a clean slate with them. I will say that I am at least HALFWAY there thanks to my loving, supportive family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. God is so good! 😊

All for HIM Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

https://wordpress.com/page/kimskause.wordpress.com/

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/

You Keep On Getting Better

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💗 After driving past the Beverly Hills Hotel for the 4th time in the same week I had to finally take a picture of the wall that surrounds the outside perimeter. Every time I saw it last week it brought me such joy. It means I am almost to Cedars, it means I am leaving Cedars and on my way home… Plus it is just beautiful and such an expression of love and joy for the New Year ahead! Not to mention “Happy” is written in my favorite font!!! 😊 So Happy 2020 Friends and Family! Thank you for continuing to support me in my daily battle in life and your unconditional love during the journey.

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💗 For those of you that don’t follow me on social media you will remember in my last blog surgery was scheduled for January 10th! Well that is me above in my hospital bed in the PACU all checked in, scrubbed down, hooked up and ready to wheeled in for surgery on January 10th! The amazing thing about Cedars and I would assume most hospitals is before they can legally put you under anesthesia you must talk with your performing surgeon first. That way you are coherent to understand your procedure and ask any questions you might have. Being the 5th time for this same procedure I am only working with one radiologist on this case. He is the only surgeon that is operating on me so you can imagine the shock when they named a different surgeon on their way into see me! As we sorted out the mistake and that it was with scheduling and most likely with a sub during the holiday it was was decided that I would get dressed and head back home.

💗 Cedars was incredibly gracious handling the situation. They would not stop apologizing. As it was a little discouraging being prepared mentally, for me it honestly was not that big of a deal. We are all human and mistakes are made. I know they felt just awful and there was no need to increase that from my end. Plus they were able to get me in the very next day my surgeon worked and as the second case that day. So I ended up going back just six short days later.

🙏 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:16-18 🙏

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💗 So this is me above on the 16th of January waiting to be wheeled back! My sweet Dad yet again waiting by my side just as he did on the 10th! This time everything on schedule, as well as, the right crew on staff! My selfless Mom has been at our home with my precious pup Jersie Mae who has lost use of her back legs over the course of the last few weeks. She has really been struggling and it is very hard for me to be away from her. So my Mom stayed with her to give me a piece of mind that she is being well taken care of while I am gone. She continues to help me with her during my recovery (which hasn’t been easy) Thank you Mom!

💗 Surgery initially started out as “Let’s tackle both sides” really get in there and do what we can to eliminate you having to come back again next week by doing one side at a time. I was all for it. I was prepared to wake up with the drains like always. I was prepared to be staying in the hospital like discussed. I was prepared for pain and discomfort. Anything to get it over with in the least amount of surgeries possible!

💗 So I was wheeled back and just kind of sat there while they set everything up. Usually I am put out pretty quickly and don’t really witness the “behind the scenes” stuff! My anesthesiologist was kinda of “old skool.” It took him a loooonnnggg time to get his things ready and his computer information put in, etc. I at one point whispered to one of the nurses I know, “am I going to be okay?” All I could think was I am never going to wake up with this guy! Well man was I wrong. He asked me a question about my dog and BOOM I was out. When I wake up I am usually always in recovery. I never see the surgical team again till my next visit but there I was still in the same room? I could here all of their voices and I said, “Am I allowed to open my eyes?” They were like, “Yeah of course hun, wake up!” I was flying!!! I could not of been happier. I was asking everyone to join my dog pound? Asking for knuckles (the cooler high five I do with my nephew) Talking about Indian desserts. I mean I would not Shut up! As I got into recovery I was already asking to get dressed and leave. I asked the anesthesiologist for his “digits” so I could call him in the future for upcoming procedures! lol It was truly amazing.

💗 I was in NO pain. I had NO drains. I couldn’t even see bandages or incisions? As I laid there waiting for my surgeon I was just in awe that I was so happy and pain free. When my doctor did come in he explained the majority of my cystic masses were on my right side which is also my ostomy bag side. So they were unable to go through my abdomen for this reason. So they ended up turning me over and making an incision through my right bum cheek! When I say they went through my “rear” people assume they went through my anus/ rectum… but you have to remember I have no rectum or colon and that is where my internal pouch is located so that would be impossible! He was happy with what was accomplished but also a bit concerned because of the location of one near my internal pouch. Even though it is no longer connected it is still built and inside me. If he got too close he could knick it or worse. So he said as soon as he saw that he pulled out of there. As for the right side the large one is the one that burst a few weeks prior to surgery so he didn’t have to drain that one but only burn the lining which was fairly simple. He is however very happy with the progress these procedures continue to make. There was less fluid in these masses then the last 5 times. Plus it took much longer for them to come back this time! So that is excellent news!!! I got to leave a short time after and head home!

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💗 The first few days at home were fantastic. I slept a lot but I was up and walking around. Really I had little to no pain at all. I only took tylenol two days total I think. Well Monday hit and out of nowhere I started getting these sharp and intense pains near my tail bone and bladder. Unfortunately they have yet to leave. They are sporadic not constant! When they come they are strong! They can knock me down. These have made me back track quite a bit in recovery as now my thighs hurt and sitting on my incision, etc. Showering has been insane as I can’t sit in a tub and I can’t shower because facing forward I have my ostomy to deal with and facing backward I have my incision that can’t be wet on my bum! I have done this twice now and it is a very long and exhausting process! So I am praying that this heals quickly and my normal routine can kick back into gear.

💗 We also got my biopsy results back which showed that I tested positive for something unknown at this time. We are praying it is an infection or an internal bacteria of some sort, not that we want that, but it is definitely better than what the alternatives would be. I am not showing signs of fever and my wound itself looks great. So those are positives! I went back for a full blood work up on Tuesday and my numbers looked better then they did Thursday so thats positive. Unfortunately I have to go back under anesthesia next week to have a pouchoscopy done. They want to make sure there was no damage done to my pouch during the procedure. They also want to check the status of the mass resting against my pouch, the hernia behind my stoma and anything else that may be lurking inside! So I would kindly ask for prayers with this situation. I pray antibiotics can heal whatever is hanging out in there and no further treatment will be needed.

Minutes 2:50- Minutes 5:00 absolutely wreck my world…

🎶 Clean my hands, purify my heart
I wanna burn for you, only for You
Take my life as a sacrifice
I wanna burn for you, only for You 🎶

💗 I was so excited to write this blog to share my new love for Maverick City Music’s New Album Volume 2. I posted Refiner because I think Chandler Moore is truly a gift. This song is so incredibly beautiful and full of the Holy Spirit but honestly this album has been on repeat for weeks in my home. I can get so lost in these lyrics. It has such a personal relationship with the Lord. The Lyrics in Communion sit so close to my heart I found myself sobbing to them-

“You are closer, closer than my skin (Yes, You are) -And You are in the air I’m breathing in -And here’s where the dead things come back to living -I feel my heart beating again -Feels so good to know You are my friend”

Yet, Most Beautiful/ So in Love is probably my favorite on the album. You Keep on Getting Better is a close second. Gods presence during the creation of this album is everywhere. To see a group of God fearing individuals brought together for the purpose of worshiping and praising his name is a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing your gifts for his purpose. It has encouraged me, inspired me and allowed me to connect with our Father on a deeper and more intimate level. I appreciate you all.

💗 I am not worried about the outcome of my results next week. I know that God is in control and I trust him completely. Regardless of the outcome I know I am safe because I know I have him. I have been reading a lot on anxiety lately and where it stems from. The enemy is strong. God does not send confusion nor does he want our heads to be filled with such things. Our own minds tend to travel when we aren’t focused on the Lord. When we try to concentrate on our own wants and needs. Our own fixes and issues that surround us. Thats when the enemy like to swoop in and grab us! I am learning that drawing near to God during these times is the best medicine. That allowing him to have my thoughts instead of allowing my brain to run wild is the best cure. It is the same thing with worry and with fear. I remember I use to have the same reoccurring dream, it was terrifying. I was told to ask God to draw near during that dream. Just implant that into my head saying it over and over so it would just come to me during my sleep. Well next time that dream snuck in I did it… I asked God to draw near to me, I must have said it 100x! I woke up that night and sure enough that dream never came back! He listens, He cares… He is just an arms length away! Draw near God, Draw near to each and every person that needs you today Lord!

💗 Newest Update on my financial situation– God continues to work in this area of my life daily. I like to keep the specific ways private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that EVERY single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. As far as my goal for my surgeons office I am still a little ways a way but I am faithful. My surgeons office is absolutely incredible… what was just suppose to be a six month period of time to raise the money has been just about a year now! Over 30,000$ taken off my bill if I am able to pay the smaller amount by the deadline they so graciously keep extending to me. I will say that I am at least HALFWAY there thanks to my loving, supportive family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. God is so good! 😊

All for HIM Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

https://wordpress.com/page/kimskause.wordpress.com/

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/

 

 

HOPE

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💗 Thanksgiving week came and went and so did my surgery date. Thank you to each and every one of you who checked in with me to see how “surgery” went! I apologize whole heartily for not updating my blog sooner. It has been a whirlwind of emotions the last few weeks. I went for another ultrasound the week prior to Thanksgiving and they saw an “unidentifiable” mass toward the back of my pelvis. This held things up a bit because my radiologist wanted better images and further testing prior to going in. My cyst surgeries are always done with a catheter through my abdomen. Now depending on this new mass found, the question surrounding it was if they would need to remove it entirely? This would require a much more invasive surgery and two plus surgeons. My radiologist would do the aspiration/ chemical oblation of the cyst/ cyst lining but I would need my OBGYN or a similar type surgeon to remove the mass and send it off for biopsy because of where it is positioned. So that then raises the question of do they cut me open? Or can they go in laparoscopically? 

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💗 Needless to say I had the further testing done along with all of the testing that was originally scheduled for the vision issues I have been having. So I basically was at Cedars for the last two weeks for one thing or another. I made it through the dreaded MRI and back to back MRAs. For those that don’t know what an MRA is- it is basically the same thing as the MRI but they place a whole head piece on you (it kind or resembles the front of a football helmet or head gear you wore as a kid) The MRA studies the blood vessels where the MRI focuses more on the tissue. 

💗 As days progressed I patiently waited on results from testing and on my new surgery date. I had a routine appointment with my Internal Medicine doctor during this duration. This doctor is my safe place. She has been with me since the very start. She has fought for me every step of the way. When I see her my emotions tend to come out as she is one person I am able to be vulnerable with. She has always allowed me to just be me without judgement. I am so thankful for her. After some in depth blood work with her we found I was deficient and lacking in some areas… no surprise there. I tend to know when my body is off! We are working together to get those things back on track! The good news is my iron levels are fantastic so as surgery approaches this is wonderful news!

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💗 Then on Wednesday around 4pm I got a phone call saying surgery would be scheduled for that Friday morning!?! Um… but I was suppose to have pre ops done in a days time? Not just pre ops but a full work up? I asked if my surgeons were insistent on this or if I was able to take a different date. Luckily they allowed me to take the next date but it was Christmas Eve. Now don’t get me wrong, I am totally fine with spending holidays in the hospital. I have spent many many holidays there. I understand my health is most important plus the amazing nurses and staff that selflessly spend their own holidays there as well… you couldn’t ask for anyone or anything better! But my parents will be leaving on vacation for a week Jan 1st. I won’t be able to lift or walk my dog for 3-4 weeks after surgery therefore, it made much more sense to have the surgery once they returned. So surgery will be at 7am on Jan. 10th. Pre ops are scheduled for New Years Eve. My surgeons are fine with this as long as I don’t start to feel more uncomfortable or feel anything unusual between now and then!

💗 As for the vision stuff… they have scheduled me for more testing toward the end of January with a Neuro-Ophthalmologist. I see my normal Neurologist for the results of the MRI/MRAs later in the month. But I am thankful there was nothing “urgent” to be seen about since my original testing! That is definitely something to praise Jesus about.

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💗  The other thing I will fill you all in on is my psoriasis. Stress tends to be a trigger for me. Regardless of what I do to mediate this it tends to find ways of coming out on it’s own. My scalp takes the brunt of my psoriasis on the regular but lately it has shown its face “on my face!” Luckily I have bangs so I am able to hide the majority of this but it doesn’t mean I am not uncomfortable. 

💗 I thought this was a good visual of the way I have been feeling lately. My body is riddled with disease. It is always there. I fight it daily. But you rarely see it. But I see it. I see it every time I look into the mirror. To everyone else there isn’t really a difference but if you only knew the things I feel and experience… I think a lot of times I try to act as if everything is ok. Kind of like my outer appearance. My skin is normally clear, my clothes cover my scars, my ostomy is hidden and my emotional wounds, well those are so far down it would take A LOT to get me to bring even one to the surface. So when I see one of my diseases so clearly covering a large portion of my face it’s a surreal moment for me. I can’t hide what I am feeling it literally is written all over my face.

💗 When I first got sick everything was new, each day was different. I never knew what to expect. There was always this sense of “excitement” if that makes sense? Not excitement like, “I can’t wait to see what happens next!” But an excitement of “Hope!” I was always praying today would be the day I would be healed or tomorrow would be the day I returned to work! I was always making plans or setting goals for myself. There was always a future ahead for me. But those days turned into weeks and the weeks into months and months into years! I can’t tell you how many plans I had to cancel or things I have had to miss. Life got to be very challenging. It wasn’t until I realized that the hope I was putting into “things” and my own wants and needs needed to be put into JESUS! Even now when I read this paragraph back… I wanted to be healed, I wanted to return to work, my goals…etc. Life isn’t about my wants and needs! The sooner I began to look at things through Gods eyes the sooner things made sense to me. There is more HOPE and more JOY then I would have ever been able to imagine now with Jesus. Life still may be challenging but I am able to enjoy each day as it comes without worrying about the future because I know He is in control.

🎶 You will come through
You always do
I trust Your name for greater things You cleared a way in the wilderness
You brought me back from my brokenness
You took my shame and You buried it
What You’ve done
I won’t forget You never fail
You never will
I trust Your name for greater things 🎶

 

UPDATE-

💗 Newest Update on my financial situation– God continues to work in this area of my life daily. I like to keep the specific ways private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that EVERY single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. As far as my goal for my surgeons office I am still a little ways a way but I am faithful. My surgeons office is absolutely incredible… what was just suppose to be a six month period of time to raise the money has been just about a year now! Over 30,000$ taken off my bill if I am able to pay the smaller amount by the deadline they so graciously keep extending to me. I will say that I am at least HALFWAY there thanks to my loving, supportive family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. God is so good! 😊

All for HIM Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

 

https://wordpress.com/page/kimskause.wordpress.com/1

 

Extravagant

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 💗  It was late in the evening and The Goldbergs were on the TV. I was laughing out loud as I often do with their family but the laughs got smaller by the second as my mind became more and more confused. Was there something in my eyes? Why was my vision so blurred? Why did my head hurt so bad? With my next blink my vision was gone. There was nothing around me but a black desolate space. My body was dripping sweat, my hands were clammy, my head hot and the panic had far surpassed any version of reality at this point. For those of you that don’t know we live in a tri level home. I am on the bottom floor while my parents are on the the top tier. If I were to scream at my absolute loudest I think my neighbors would hear me before they would. Not being able to see I had no idea even if I found my phone how to find and get into my password/ dial/ etc. but then it dawned on me I had “Alexa,” so I yelled out “Alexa call parents!” My Mom soon answered from upstairs and both her and my Dad came running down.

  💗 When I first got sick almost 7 years ago this happened to me for a period of time. I would go in and out of losing my vision. I also was having seizures back then and was on numerous medications including biological drugs. The doctors at the time chalked it up to meds. I lost my drivers license and it was one of the main reasons I was unable to live on my own. Sometimes it would be gone for 20 minutes and sometimes it would be gone for hours at a time. It eventually went away on it’s own so we believed it was the medication because after my major surgeries I was able to get off all the major drugs that were causing my body such harm. I haven’t had any issues at all with my vision until last month. I began having episodes where it was hard for me to look at the TV or the computer. I would get insanely bad migraines. I also have not been able to concentrate on normal things like writing or reading hence why you all didn’t get a blog for October! I have forgotten the most simplest of words and been incredibly sensitive to both light and dark. It isn’t one more then the other but more the change in it itself. There have been days upon days that I have laid buried in my pillow because the pain has been too much for me to bare. 

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🙏 Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
    when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
    the Lord will be a light to me. -Micah 7:8 🙏

 💗  I have an appointment with my neurologist down at Cedars on the 18th. It was quite an ordeal to get me back in and established with the neurology department in such a timely manner. They were booked through the New Year and since I am not a regular patient at their clinic any longer it took quite the work to get me back into the rotation. We are truly blessed though and have wonderful friends who I like to call family at Cedars who helped make it happen! So we will see what’s going on and hopefully get some answers! 😊

💗 Unfortunately I have missed out on a lot of things recently. I have stayed in my room more days than not. I have only made it to church two weeks out of five the last couple months and that is a tough one for me. This last week I was all showered and ready to go and my nose began to bleed… it continued to bleed for 45 minutes!!! What in the world? I was so light headed and my Mom was out of town and my Dad had left already so I climbed back into bed and once again followed along with a sermon from bed. Following this Sunday I was then knocked to floor and doubled over in pain only to later find out I had yet another cyst burst! What a surprise right? I hate to blame myself but I think sometimes I try to see how far I can draw things out without having to get checked again. Only to put off the inevitable. Well my abdomen if full of cysts again and surgery is being scheduled for what looks like the week before Thanksgiving! I should have an exact date by Monday (we are waiting on my surgeon to get back to us) So it appears I will be recovering through the holidays! 

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  💗 As I sit here in my bed writing tonight this song by Steffany Gretzinger is playing… 

🎶 It’s extravagant, it doesn’t make sense We’ll never comprehend, the way You love us It’s unthinkable, only heaven knows Just how far You’d go, to say You love us…  You don’t belittle our pain and our suffering And You comfort us in our greatest unraveling… Here is all my love It’s Yours, no conditions When You pull me close No, I won’t resist it… -Extravagant 🎶 

  💗 These words hit so close to home for me. We as humans can’t even comprehend the word pain. Sure in our own form of course but when Jesus hung on that cross he bore the weight OF THE WORLD. We don’t even have the capacity to understand the things he felt, the suffering he endured, the PAIN that he sacrificed so that you and I would never have to. What you and I feel as pain today isn’t even a fraction of what it could have been if Jesus hadn’t died on the cross for us. Yet he still never belittles our own pain and suffering today. To look at that picture, the God of the universe who took on the weight of the worlds sin, felt every type of pain imaginable is sitting up there listening to each and every one of us every single time we cry, every time we stub our toe, every time we are hurting mentally, emotionally or physically and he doesn’t get upset. He doesn’t get annoyed. He doesn’t choose to ridicule or mock us but instead he chooses to comfort us. He chooses to love us. He chooses to wrap his arms around us day after day after day. His love is truly extravagant and it doesn’t make sense but it is undeniably the most amazing gift there is. So as I fight through the obstacles in front of me today I can do them knowing I have the most loving Father comforting me, loving me and wrapping his arms around me tighter then the day before. That is pretty incredible.

🎶 It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only
you give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord 🎶

 

UPDATE-

💗 Newest Update on my financial situation– God continues to work in this area of my life daily. I like to keep the specific ways private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that EVERY single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. I did run into some unexpected financial issues a few months back that have hit harder than we had hoped but God is good and I know with his help I will bounce back as I always do! As far as my goal for my surgeons office I am still a little ways a way but I am faithful. I will say that I am HALFWAY there thanks to my loving, supportive family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. 😊

All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

Firm Foundation

Anxiety weighs down the heart,
    but a kind word cheers it up. -Proverbs 12:25IMG_0659

For those that know me I have always been a creature of habit. I like my routines, my lists, my schedules, being on time… it has always been hard for me to be a “go with the flow type person.” So when I got sick it was a very big adjustment for me to not know what the future held for me let alone the next day or even hour. This created a big barrier for me and my comfort zone. I found myself staying in more and more and when I did venture out it was still close to home or to and from my hospital, etc. I developed a sense of safety to my home, being close to my parents, my doctors and even to my dog. Without even realizing how much time has gone by it had been YEARS since I had been out of my surroundings. Even those years ago when I was away my Dad was still with me. This was a hard one for me to swallow.

My 39th birthday is just two weeks away… I never could of imagined this would be where I was at in my life. I was the 17 year old girl who got on a plane for the first time and moved to Germany just a week after graduating high school. I lived alone the majority of my life! I didn’t have any fears! Now my mind works in such a different way. Analyzing every move I make, weighing out the pros and the cons, the risks involved for my health and my comfort. Realizing this is how I may always process things, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone this last month. I left not just the city but the state! I was gone for a good amount of time and alone for the majority of it. For some this may sound so silly but for me this was a huge accomplishment. A small victory but a victory none the less.

Anxiety is real. It is probably the hardest thing I have dealt with in this process. It is something I continue to fight against daily. Luckily I have the King of Kings on my side and He never lets me get too buried. Not to say I haven’t gotten close… When you continue to have difficult trials in life time after time there is almost this subconscious voice waiting for the next thing to hit! It is a constant battle to keep your mind at ease and have the courage to step out and do things with the reassurance that nothing is going to happen while you are just trying to live your life. I have slowly learned over time regardless of what occurs that trusting God is the only way to live life. The closer my relationship becomes with Him the more I am able to handle my anxiety. He really is the peacemaker in ALL things. 

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 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.                              -2 Corinthians 12:10 

As for my general health… My bladder unfortunately has prolapsed yet again. I am waiting to see my doctor as she has been out of town but should be talking with her this coming week. I am not too sure what this means if not being surgery as my only option once again?This will make it 3x that my bladder has prolapsed now. The first time they fixed it with a sling. The second time was when I had my hysterectomy, they corrected it then and used a piece of bio mesh I believe. I also had a female “lift” at that time to make everything sit tighter so it wouldn’t fall again! ha! I am doing okay for the most part with the prolapse other than lower back pain. While out of town my back went out for a couple days and that was really hard being by myself… but I DID IT!!! Since then it hasn’t gone out but it has been sore. As for my bladder it just feels like I am sitting on a golf ball 24/7! So thats fun!

That aside my iron was low after my last surgery. Then went up and down again. The issue isn’t my iron itself but the saturation of iron. So we are trying to get ahold of this and to the bottom of that as well. Then I still have this pesky hernia behind my stoma site since about a year ago. My surgeon didn’t want to go back in and cut me open unless he absolutely had to! Which I totally agree and appreciated. The hernia is getting bigger and more ornery by the day! I can physically see it at this point anytime after eating. I will spare you any more details of how I know but it seems I will have to be making a visit to my normal surgeon sooner than later! I think the inevitable is coming between the ovaries (cyst issue- see previous blogs) hernia and now bladder. Per usual I am holding off as long as possible. The last thing I want is to lose any more organs or to have another major surgery with knives involved. So for now I will wait until I can’t tolerate the pain any longer.

“And I will build my life upon your love it is a firm foundation
And I will put my trust in you alone
And I will not be shaken
Holy there is no one like you
There is none beside you
Open up my eyes in wonder
And show me who you are and fill me
With your heart and lead me
In your love to those around me”
It doesn’t matter how many times I hear this song I still get choked up. While away last month I attended a church for 4 weeks. The worship service there was fantastic. I was having a particular hard Sunday as my back had been out the night before. I knew I needed to be there that morning. They were working through the last chapters of Acts and the take away message had been finding the joy even while going through the toughest of times. I had spent the entire night before praying through the pain. When morning came I didn’t think I was going to make it but I decided God didn’t care if I was showered or what I looked like… I cleaned up the best that I could and drove myself down to second service. When the worship band began to play this song started and the tears just began to fall from face. The words to this song I feel are my words… “There is no one like you! There is none beside you!” When I think about that it gives me so much peace. There is nothing He can’t do, nothing He can’t fix, nothing He can’t heal. The enemy will continue to mess with me daily. He will attack my thoughts, go after me at my weakest moments and slide in when I least expect it. But “I will build my life upon your love- it is a firm foundation, And I will put my trust in you alone, And I will not be shaken” That is a fact. 

UPDATE-

💗 Newest Update on my financial situation– God continues to work in this area of my life daily. I like to keep the specific ways private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that EVERY single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. I did run into some unexpected financial issues last month that have hit harder than we had hoped but God is good and I know with his help I will bounce back as I always do! As far as my goal for my surgeons office I am still a little ways a way but I am faithful. I will say that I am HALFWAY there thanks to my loving, supportive family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.

All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

Victor not a Victim

🙏 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. -Romans 5:3-5 🙏

💗 Recovery has been a process. I have had some unexpected fun this time around. I am patiently waiting for things to pass as I don’t like to panic in these type of situations. I learned early on going to the doctor for each and every thing just costs you a long drive in traffic and an extra 20$ for parking just for the doctor to say, “you’re fine… you’re just healing.” So now I try to wait it out and just see if it is an after effect and if it passes or not, then I will call or email with my concern before making the drastic decision to drive to Beverly Hills. 😊 In all seriousness though I am having some real issues. The first being extreme nausea after eating basically anything. It literally kills until my food passes through my bag. Unfortunately some things take longer than others. So it has made it a bit difficult to get back in the swing of things completely. I also have had several bag explosions in my sleep. I have had a few of these over the years but I have had several in one week and this is not at all normal! Waking up at 3am soaking wet covered in your own liquid stool and having to wash your sheets, your clothes and do an entire bag change is NOT fun. Plus it makes your skin super raw from changing your bag more than once in the same week. I also have had a couple rough nights of bleeding. This has happened once before after surgery and it did stop so I am not too worried but it does always freak me out a bit when you have had all your female organs removed… like where is this coming from?  All in all I am doing just fine and with my pup which is the best place I could imagine.

🙏 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:12-13 🙏

💗 I had someone question my writing recently. They asked, “If I was so blessed all the time why didn’t I tell people about those blessings?” Also, “How could I really truly be happy all the time when I’m going through everything I am going through? etc.” Let’s just say they didn’t hold back. It really got me thinking if more people thought this way of me… I appreciated this persons point of view even though it was a bit difficult to have my authenticity questioned. I always thought I did do these things they were asking me?!?

💗 I think over the years I have been very open about my struggles. I try to be as vulnerable as possible when it comes to my anxiety, my doubts, fears, my ptsd among other things. I have had many insecurities from doctors to dating and think I have voiced those from when I first started my blog almost 6 years ago now.

💗 When I first got sick joining several support groups I had a decision to make. I could either become a victim or a victor and I went the victor route. I wasn’t going to allow this illness to defeat me. I wasn’t going to take a negative attitude and allow myself to sit and wallow in my own self pity and misery. So I started my blog. One reason was to keep family and friends updated on everything going on with me because it moved fast and it was A LOT all at once! Another reason was because for the first time in my life I had to humble myself and ask for help. I couldn’t do things on my own anymore. The last reason was because I wanted anyone and everyone that would listen to know that just because of the circumstances we are placed in doesn’t mean we can’t find joy in them! I wanted to share my own journey and the happiness I found through the darkness that was set in my own way. 

💗 I never imagined that my blog would have reached over 60 countries when I started or that I would have formed friendships from all over the world. I could have never imagined how many beautiful people willingly and lovingly came to my side to help and that still do to this day. The connection I have with so many in prayer and the relationship in love is incredible. I feel like I barely get the words out of my mouth and my need is met each and every time. The doors that have been opened because of my writing and the opportunities that have been created. The amount of relationships and conversations that have been able to form all because of the question… “So what do you do all day?” I literally get asked this several times a week. I get to tell them, “I write!”  

💗 If those aren’t blessings I’m not sure what are? I think each and every one of my blogs has a blessing as I continue to share His goodness and how He continues to work as a light through this dark path my health has been on. Yes, there have been some really big and powerful things that have happened in my life but they are for Gods glory not my own. So those things I like to keep sacred. Those are special things between the people who have blessed me and God.

💗 As far as being a happy person… staying positive doesn’t mean I don’t cry… it doesn’t mean I don’t get angry (ask my parents) it doesn’t mean I’m not human. It means that I can do anything and everything because I am doing it with God. I am not alone. It means that whatever I am up against He is so much bigger than it! He has no equal… no rival! He is the God of miracles so I will always have hope! There is restoration in his name, there is healing, protection, redemption, peace, comfort, unfailing love, there is JOY!!! So yes, I am happy through the pain and through the suffering because I have God. I know He is with me in this fight. I have joy because every blessing he bestows upon me is like a kiss from heaven and I know I am that much closer to seeing his face… I have joy because he chose me as a victor in this battle. I have joy because he is my strength. I have joy because regardless of the outcome I know I have eternal security with my savior. 

💗 There was a point in life where I thought driving a fancy SUV and having my own home and Chanel bag meant I made it in life. Everything I wanted or needed had to have a price tag on it. Now the only thing I want or need is free and HE can never be taken or replaced. My heart could never be more thankful or more full.

🎶 You are my reward… Love unfailing
And I do not deserve… Still you call me
And all my hope… And all adore
Is found in you… Oh you mercy
Rushing through me… Oh how beautiful How beautiful
Love amazing… Your love has saved me
 🎶

 

UPDATE-

💗 Newest Update on my financial situation– God continues to work in this area of my life daily. As I mentioned above, I like to keep the specific ways private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that EVERY single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. I did run into some unexpected financial issues this month that have hit hard but God is good and I know with his help I will bounce back as I always do! As far as my goal for my surgeons office I am still a little ways a way but I am faithful. I will say that I am HALFWAY there thanks to my loving, supportive family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

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All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

Free of Fear

🙏 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. -James 1:12 🙏

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💗 Monday began with smiles and hugs. Catching up with my wonderful nurses, laughing and sharing stories. I was calm and relaxed. My anesthesiologist was terrific allowing me my own meds prior to the surgery. Triple the xanax and double the tylenol before I was even hooked up to anything! They actually had to WAKE me up when it was time to be wheeled back. It was great! Then once in the room all my guys were there! I know I have said it before but seeing all the same faces each time you have a procedure done is the most comforting thing you can experience. It’s like Gods way of saying “I got you” they are all here again! 

💗 After the images were taken is when things took a bit of a turn… I had quite a few of these peritoneal inclusion cyst pockets full of fluid. They were deep and scattered. To be able to get all of them at once would not have been safe or realistic. There was talk of even going through my back!!! ( which neither of us wanted) So the best solution was to do one side at a time. On Monday my right side was completed. I have the drains currently as you can see in the picture below! Now for the fun part… I get to go back Thursday, yes tomorrow as in June 20th and have the same exact surgery done but for my left side this time! Then I will get to go home with a new set of drains. Yippee! I’m currently calling myself a double bagger with the ostomy and the drains! 😊

💗 The good news is that the cysts themselves are a bit smaller this time around. They also stayed away longer this time around. So we are in good spirits that after maybe three or four more of these type of surgeries down the road that they may be disappear forever?!? So that would be amazing! If you would all pray for that I would be forever grateful.

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🙏 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. -Job 36:15 🙏

💗 I posted this song below because the words are just so dead on for me during this time. I think for some people it might be hard to wrap their heads around two surgeries in one week! Or question the doctors decision? Some would be angry, tired, too sore to go back in… and I totally get that. I wouldn’t judge or blame anyone for having those questions or concerns or even feeling that way. I think for me I just feel incredibly blessed the way this entire thing has played out. I sit back and look at where I started and where I am now. I am completely saturated in his grace… it is relentless. When I am lost… HE really does pursue me. When I am alone… HE does draw near to me when I call him. The amount of trust I have in him allows me to be free of fear. I see the team he has laid out for me. I see the hands he has put me in. I see the consistency he has continued to lay before me. I am surrounded by blessing after blessing because of him. He continues to surround me with safe, supportive, loving, beautiful people. Relationships have formed! Friendships have blossomed! Lives are changing. My health is such a small part of this. How could I possibly be upset about a situation that is SOO much bigger than me. God is doing incredible things and the fact that I get to play a part in that is so incredibly humbling. I will gladly have two surgeries this week and I will continue to rejoice in the Lord! FOR HE IS GOOD, OH SO GOOD!

🎶 “Standing here in Your presence
In a grace so relentless
I am won
By perfect love
Wrapped within the arms of heaven
In a peace that lasts forever
Sinking deep
In mercy’s sea
I’m wide awake
Drawing close
Stirred by grace
And all my heart is Yours
All fear removed
I breathe You in
I lean into Your love
Oh, Your love
When I’m lost You pursue me
Lift my head to see Your glory
Lord of all
So beautiful
Here in You I find shelter
Captivated by the splendor
Of Your face
My secret place
I’m wide awake
Drawing close
Stirred by grace
And all my heart is Yours
All fear removed
I breathe You in
I lean into Your love
Oh, Your love
Your love so deep
Is washing over me
Your face is all I seek
You are my everything
Jesus Christ
You are my one desire
Lord hear my only cry
To know You all my life
Oh, Your love” 🎶

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 UPDATE-

💗 I mentioned this in my previous blogs- My surgeon recently offered me an amazing deal financially… They realize my situation and understand the little I pay each month is all I can afford. My bill with them is around 50,000$ (which is really so small to begin with- this surgeon’s done 9 major surgeries on me) Anyway they have offered to make my balance $0 if I can pay just 15,000$ of it by the New Year. That is over a 35,000$ discount. I am asking for major prayer in this area that God would allow an opportunity for me to make this possible. 1st Update- God has been working in this area like crazy! I don’t think I will make it before the New Year but the amount of money I have raised is incredible. I am so grateful and overwhelmed with appreciation. I plan to ask for an extension because of the amount I was able to give. Words can’t describe the love that I feel and the love that I have been given. Thank you.💗 2nd UPDATE- So that extension was GRANTED! God is so good! So I now have till the end of June to pay off what is only 9,000$ now! I am in such awe of the generosity and love that I continue to be given. I ask myself all the time how I am so blessed? How does God love me so much? 💗 Newest Update- God continues to work in this area of my life. I like to keep the specific ways private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that every single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. As far as my goal I am still a ways a way but I am faithful. I will say that I am halfway there thanks to my loving, supportive family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.

All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

Moments

🙏 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. -Psalm 86:15 🙏

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Hi Everyone,

💗 This last month has been such a blessing. God allowed me to be part of a study on Habakkuk. I never had a real study or a full understanding on this minor prophet prior to this last few weeks. I can’t believe in the last 7 years through all my “waiting,” through all my “patience” that I never studied this book in depth. I was so moved and so touched by so many verses, the entirety of the lesson, the hymn in the final chapter. Habakkuk finding joy regardless of the circumstances around him. His trust for the Lord even when he didn’t understand. His heart and outpouring of praise and love. It is such and encouragement to me as I face my next trial. God’s timing is always so perfect. My sweet friend Kristin, the one pictured above is the one who led the study. She also writes an incredible blog for those who would like to check it out here is her address https://www.workoutintheword.com

💗 As I mentioned above I will be facing my next trial… I will be going under for my next surgery this Monday, the 17th at 7am. The main reason once again is for my cysts. We will be repeating the chemical oblation procedure. This seemed to keep them away for the longest period of time so far. I will be coming home with drains attached to the incision for 5-7 days and then will go back down and have them removed once the fluid has stopped draining. The hope is that the chemical mixture inserted to the cysts will cauterize the cyst lining and eventually keep them from growing back for good. For now if we can keep them from coming back three months apart instead of two it is a blessing. Of course anything we can do to continue to hold onto my ovaries is the ultimate goal, so we continue to praise God that these small surgeries can take place. Plus I am kind of a pro at bouncing back from them and continuing on with life at this point so it works. 😊

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💗 Tuesday night Hillsong United was back in Los Angeles with a sold out concert at the Staples Center. For me it was a night full of Moments… Listening to sweet Taya singing Broken Vessels on stage brought back the day she was sitting in my living room singing that same song. When she began to sing that song the tears began to fall from my face as I got up and moved over to my Grandmas side. It is one of the most special moments I have with my Grandma. I cried like a baby as she just sat and held me. There were Moments of deep Prayer… So many moments I just got lost in prayer that night. “My body is so weak” and there were moments when I thought, I don’t know how much longer I can do this? How much longer I will be able to attend concerts and actually be able to participate? Then I would find myself in these deep moments of prayer with God allowing my body the strength to continue through the night. Moments of intense Worship… Moments of powerful Praise… Looking around and seeing 21,000 other people with arms high and hearts abandoned singing together as one is a pretty incredible experience. The energy is so uplifting and so encouraging. Gods presence in those moments is so tangible and so real. It is such a safe environment surrounded to worship freely, to be yourself. But the Moments of Surreal Surrender were my favorite… Seeing LA Staples Center Sold Out for the “soul” purpose of Singing to our Savior was pure LOVE. There are no words to express the appreciation I have for their friendship and for the simple fact that they all daily and selflessly share their gifts and blessings with us all for HIS purpose!!! Thank you for these Moments friends.

💗 “My body is so weak” this makes me think about Ezekiel 37 and how God uses dry bones to bring restoration again. I think about my broken, bruised and beaten body. I think about the memories I have lost, the time that has lapsed, the aches and pains I endure daily. Then I think of his grace… its never ending. His mercy… its everlasting. His blessings… are over pouring. I see the healing. I see the hope. I see the peace and the comfort he has already restored and that he continues to. It may not be at the speed I would like it to be or on the scheduled I would of made but I think that has been the most beautiful lesson I have learned thus far. Physically and literally my body may be turned inside out. My intestine may stick out of my stomach. There may be more surgeries to come… There may even be more heartache and suffering ahead because lets face it that is part of life. But I’m okay with that. I am not only okay with it, I am excited about it. God is leading my life. He is in control and I get to sit back and know he is carrying me through this thing. So as I said before, “My body is so weak” but MY GOD IS SO STRONG!!! Therefore there is nothing I can’t do. That right there is how you find the joy in suffering even when entering your 14th?15th surgery… and that is something worth celebrating!

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🙏 I heard and my heart pounded,
    my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
    and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
    to come on the nation invading us.
 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights. -Habakkuk 3:16-19 🙏

💗 This song Highlands is one of my favorites off the new People album by Hillsong United. I love the meaning behind the lyrics. Whatever I walk through… Wherever I am… Basically my faith will not waiver. I will praise you through the good and the bad! Ben Hastings who wrote the song with Joel Houston is one of my favorite song writers and it was such a treat to watch him preform it live on Tuesday night. I hope you enjoy it as much as me!

🎶 “Whatever I walk through
Wherever I am
Your Name can move mountains
Wherever I stand
And if ever I walk through
The valley of death
I’ll sing through the shadows
My song of ascent”
-Highlands Hillsong United 🎶

NEW UPDATE-

💗 I mentioned this in my previous blogs- My surgeon recently offered me an amazing deal financially… They realize my situation and understand the little I pay each month is all I can afford. My bill with them is around 50,000$ (which is really so small to begin with- this surgeon’s done 9 major surgeries on me) Anyway they have offered to make my balance $0 if I can pay just 15,000$ of it by the New Year. That is over a 35,000$ discount. I am asking for major prayer in this area that God would allow an opportunity for me to make this possible. 1st Update- God has been working in this area like crazy! I don’t think I will make it before the New Year but the amount of money I have raised is incredible. I am so grateful and overwhelmed with appreciation. I plan to ask for an extension because of the amount I was able to give. Words can’t describe the love that I feel and the love that I have been given. Thank you.💗2nd UPDATE- So that extension was GRANTED! God is so good! So I now have till the end of June to pay off what is only 9,000$ now! I am in such awe of the generosity and love that I continue to be given. I ask myself all the time how I am so blessed? How does God love me so much? 💗 Newest Update- God continues to work in this area of my life. I like to keep the specific ways private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that every single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. As far as my goal I am still a ways a way but I am faithful. I will say that I am halfway there thanks to my loving, supportive family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.

All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

Surrender… Whole Heart!

💗 I started this blog off completely different this week but something kept me from continuing it. I went back and read it over and over and decided to scrap the whole thing. I don’t think I have ever just hit delete before. It wasn’t because I didn’t like what I had written but more so because my entire heart and attitude had changed within days. I feel like I need to share the lesson I learned this week rather than the feelings I felt.

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💗 A little over 5 years ago was the breaking point for me. It was the point where I could no longer live on my own, take care of myself, was at my lowest of lows. I remember sitting in the hallway of my parents house just sobbing because I couldn’t move any further. My body hurt so bad I literally could NOT move in the physical sense. I was being carried to the bathroom! There were other times walking out the front door to take my dog to the bathroom and being so ridden with anxiety that I would burst into tears and turn back and run inside. I couldn’t bare the thought of being away from home. My 34th Birthday watching everyone eat MY special dinner while I lay on the couch with my throw up bucket next to me, in and out of sleep from a new medication I had started. Life was not easy. 

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💗 Then fast forward to this last week… My dog (my best friend) was diagnosed with cancer. My disability came up for renewal, which means if denied they can take it away from me as soon as May 1st and to top it all off my week was full of  doctor appointments and tests. I sat back and looked at things for a moment and  just kind of collapsed. Here I am still seeing doctors, still scheduling surgeries, still integrating new medications into my daily regiment, still trying new treatments and procedures, still getting infusions… and now still sobbing on the floor of my parents house.

💗 But then I realized the one thing I wasn’t doing this week was being STILL! I hadn’t been sitting in God’s presence, in my journaling, in reading God’s word, in asking for God in prayer… it’s no wonder my brain went to fear, doubt, overwhelming anxiety and the word I used to describe myself to my doctor, “defeated.” I was lost. Yes, it’s that easy and happens that fast! Why did I allow myself to get so caught up in life and in my own desires that I lost sight of why I am here? I started to think of all the missed opportunities I had this week, the people I came across but didn’t connect with. The woman complaining of leg pain in the blood lab… we were all alone in the waiting room and she was talking out loud and I didn’t even speak to her. I feel enormous guilt that I didn’t offer to comfort her or pray for her. The homeless woman in Carls Jr. She had food but I didn’t smile, wave or offer her anything off my own back. I just walked by with my drink and sat down. I was so wrapped up in my own world this week that I let it affect how I treated others. This hurts my heart. It is so easy to doubt and to worry, but in doing so we allow our trust and joy for the Lord to disappear. This is a very unsatisfying, selfish and lonely way to live life. 

💗 So I started to break each thing down one at a time- Yes, I need another surgery next month but I get to keep my ovaries! This is such an answer to prayers. I have been dealing with an overwhelming deal of emotions but my internal medicine doctor started me on an anti depressent and I already feel amazing after just 5 days. (this is a very humbling thing for me to admit by the way) I have to see my orthopedic surgeon (and get an MRI) about setting up possible spinal infusions next week (my back has progressively gotten worse) but I am so lucky to have her. She is top notch and this would help to prevent surgery in the future! Even though my pup is sick, she is doing well right now. She is comfortable and not in any pain. God gave her to me to be by my side through my entire journey and she has been the absolute sweetest girl ever. With my disability pay, God has provided for me over and over and over… and over. I will continue to trust him and his plan. I have to just give it to him and not worry. The list of finding the positive in each and every situation is always going to out weigh the negative. I have to remind myself  of this daily and not get sucked into the world we live in where complaining and self loathing is the more common go to! To give thanks for each and EVERY thing in my life. 

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:8

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💗 Life is happening all around us… it is always going to distract us, disappoint us, intimidate, tempt and lead us astray. This week I was reminded why surrendering is so important. Not just surrendering a little bit but with my whole heart. That it is an ongoing process that began when I accepted Christ but it continues daily until he calls me back home or Jesus comes again. I can’t help but have a new outlook on my week as I am reminded once again that my HOPE lays in God’s hands and not in my own. I have nothing to figure out or to plan for this is HIS plan for my life. I need you God, I need you daily. I need you in all things. My heart, my WHOLE HEART couldn’t be more full. Even through all of this Gods grace and endless love just continues to shower over me. He continues to allow me to wake up each morning, sun shining with his new mercies in place. I couldn’t be more thankful.

NEW UPDATE-

💗 I mentioned this in my previous blogs- My surgeon recently offered me an amazing deal financially… They realize my situation and understand the little I pay each month is all I can afford. My bill with them is 50,000$ plus+ (which is really so small to begin with- this surgeon’s done 9 major surgeries on me) Anyway they have offered to make my balance $0 if I can pay just 15,000$ of it by the New Year. That is over a 35,000$ discount. I am asking for major prayer in this area that God would allow an opportunity for me to make this possible. 1st Update- God has been working in this area like crazy! I don’t think I will make it before the New Year but the amount of money I have raised is incredible. I am so grateful and overwhelmed with appreciation. I plan to ask for an extension because of the amount I was able to give. Words can’t describe the love that I feel and the love that I have been given. Thank you.💗2nd UPDATE- So that extension was GRANTED! God is so good! So I now have till the end of June to pay off what is only 9,000$ now! I am in such awe of the generosity and love that I continue to be given. I ask myself all the time how I am so blessed? How does God love me so much? 💗 Newest Update- God continues to work in this area of my life. I like to keep these things private as I feel blessings as amazing as these are for Gods glory and not our own. I will assure you though that every single month I have continued to be blessed in the most special ways by the most incredible people. As far as my goal I am still a ways a way but I am faithful. 

“So here I stand
High in surrender
I need You now
Hold my heart
Now and forever
My soul cries out
‘Cause once I was broken
But You loved my whole heart through
Sin has no hold on me
‘Cause Your grace holds me now”

 

All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

Let Your voice be all I hear now…

💗 Walking through the cold desolate hallways of a hospital can be very difficult. It is almost as if you can feel the suffering throughout the crawl. The smell of sickness begins to fill your lungs. Counting your steps along the way just to drown out the sounds of pain that begin to close you in. Then you see it… the beautiful pillar of crystalized beauty. You know you have made it around the circle and your time here is getting shorter. The excitement and feeling of comfort is overwhelming. A reminder that God is good and shining through every window and every room. When night falls it stands proudly lighting the darkness for us all to see. Even through the rain it creates God’s most loved promise filling the dreary colored walls with his gorgeous display of rainbows. This statue is not just a piece of art but is constant colors of love. A reminder that Gods presence is tangible… that he is everywhere! The smile it brings, the uplifting feeling that fills my heart when I see it, gives me the strength, that extra push to keep moving. My imagination now full of wonder. If this is a man made creation how could we possibly wrap our heads around the beauty of Heaven? This is how I endure my stay- “This is how I fight my battles… It may look like I’m surrounded… but I’m surrounded by YOU.” He brings life back into each and every day. Those same hallways I couldn’t bare to stare down now full of angels in scrubs caring for my every need. I no longer need to drown out the noise for all I hear is your whispers, “I am here.” Peace fills my spirit and the joy explodes from within. Praise fills my purpose and suddenly being sick doesn’t hurt anymore.💗 

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🙏 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. -Revelation 21:11 🙏

💗Surgery… it was difficult for me this round. I woke up in intense pain, drains hanging from my abdomen and disoriented. It only took a short amount of time to gather myself but embarrassed at the requests I must have made and the fuss I had caused. I began to apologize to any and everyone that would listen. My nurses once again, gracious and tender didn’t seem to mind at all but I couldn’t help thinking what the anesthesiologist must have thought of me. 🙈 When my doctor came in to talk to me he revealed that they had accomplished what they had set out to. The inserted a catheter through my abdomen and drained the cystic mass fluid. They then inserted a chemical mixture into those pockets burning and scaring the lining of the cysts. Kind of the same way an alcohol oblation is done but they didn’t use alcohol with me but instead this mixture of chemicals to burn the lining. The drains were in for a little less than week but made a huge impact on my recovery process. I was not able shower or go out in public. The drains hung down almost to my knees. It made doing normal life a bit harder this time around.💗

 

 

💗The day I returned to the hospital I recieved a bit of disappointing news. I was put back in to have more images taken and the drains removed. The pain of having drains taken out… I will just say is not pleasant. I thought I was in the clear because they removed them but when my oncologist brought my Dad back I knew something wasn’t right. Normally I would just get to leave. As I proceeded to be cleaned up by the nurses my oncologist began to tell us that there were 4 more cysts! Not 1… but 4!!! They were hidden behind the largest one they had just removed so they didn’t show up in the prior images. I have one in each of my ovaries and two attached to my internal j pouch aka my small intestine. The location of all 4 of these is not good. I immediately went then to my OBGYN, the main doctor handling my cyst care/ maintenance. It appears one of them is already 7cm in size. We are going to give my body 4 full weeks of healing and then take new images. For starters we want to see if the ones drained begin to come back or if indeed this chemical oblation works for me. I believe the next step will be meeting with a new specialist that can go in with my normal colorectal surgeon and find a plan to destroy these for good. I love that my doctor is humble enough to say I need to send you to someone else because I have done everything I know how to do. It makes me feel safe and well cared for. So that is what is in store for me over the next couple months.💗images💗I had one small set back… for a couple days following surgery I wasn’t able to eat. When I did my stomach swelled up almost double in size. It wasn’t painful but definitely uncomfortable. I could only describe it as pressure build up. I thought my intestine was going to explode through my stomach like when a balloon has too much air! It was a very intense sleepless night to say the least. I did end up vomiting for several hours filling a large amount of a normal size trash bag as it was all we could grab in that short amount of time. Sorry to be so descriptive but I have never thrown up so much in my life. It re-opened my wound and called for a full ostomy bag change. Since then everything seems to be ok. I am eating normal and no sign of infection.💗

💗 Just when I begin to start to feel “less happy” there are these blessings that constantly surround me… My church bringing meals to my Dad and I as my Mom was out of town this time around.  My girlfriend sitting by my side during recovery as my Dad couldn’t be there when I woke up. Another dear friend who came and picked me up on the day her salon was closed and washed and dried my hair for me. Talk about humbling! That is what God does, who He is! Constantly letting you know He loves you by surrounding you with people who love you unconditionally. By constantly reminding you that you are not alone. Since this news I have been doing good for the most part. I was able to attend church this week, bible study and even see the beautiful girl I used to nanny for in her school musical. I think at this point I really don’t have any expectations. I just choose to trust that God continues to live out his purpose and plan in me and take each day as it comes. I am always excited to see where this life will lead. 💗 

 

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“Your ways are higher
Your thoughts are wilder
Love came like madness
Poured out in blood-washed romance
It makes no sense but this is grace
And I know You’re with me in this place
Here now
Still my heart
Let Your voice be all I hear now
Fix my eyes on things that I can’t see now
Spirit breathe like the wind come have Your way
‘Cause I know that You are
Here now” -Hillsong United
(If any of my Hillsong family are reading my blog this month… can I put in a request for the LA leg of the tour 😊)

💗 I mentioned this in my previous blogs- My surgeon recently offered me an amazing deal financially… They realize my situation and understand the little I pay each month is all I can afford. My bill with them is 50,000$ plus+ (which is really so small to begin with- this surgeon’s done 9 major surgeries on me) Anyway they have offered to make my balance $0 if I can pay just 15,000$ of it by the New Year. That is over a 35,000$ discount. I am asking for major prayer in this area that God would allow an opportunity for me to make this possible. 1st Update- God has been working in this area like crazy! I don’t think I will make it before the New Year but the amount of money I have raised is incredible. I am so grateful and overwhelmed with appreciation. I plan to ask for an extension because of the amount I was able to give. Words can’t describe the love that I feel and the love that I have been given. Thank you.💗 2nd UPDATE- So that extension was GRANTED! God is so good! So I now have till the end of June to pay off what is only 9,000$ now! I am in such awe of the generosity and love that I continue to be given. I ask myself all the time how I am so blessed? How does God love me so much? 

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All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

Your Promises Never Fail

 

 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. -1 Peter 1: 6-9

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💗 A normal ovary is about 2 x 3 cm (almond sized). A peritoneal ovarian cyst, if the egg is not ejected and the amount of fluid continues to increase, can reach sizes of up to 10 cm. Mine have surpassed this and continue to grow with my largest one at 14.5cm currently. If left untreated, benign cysts can cause serious complications including: Infection – the cyst fills with bacteria and pus, and becomes an abscess. If the abscess bursts inside the body, there is a risk of blood poisoning (septicaemia). Peritoneal inclusion cysts are an uncommon benign primary peritoneal growths that often mimic cancerous tumors. They are a compound of excess cystic matter that commonly appear as adhesions around the ovary filled with trapped fluids. This is the fourth time they have returned for me. 💗

💗 I saw my doctor on Wednesday and my cysts have continued to grow in size. We sat down after the exam and talked in length about different scenarios. My doctor was extremely humble and voiced his concerns and the fact that he doesn’t really know what to do with me. Removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes was discussed again but to do so would cause major risks and a drastic change in life for me. If we knew this was a guaranteed way to stop the cysts from forming then I would do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, there is NO guarantee. So with that he decided to meet with my normal surgeon and my urologist to shop ideas around to get to the bottom of this. He came back with an oncologist who specializes in these types of cysts. So on Friday March 1st I will be going back under once again. The oncologist will drain the fluid once again but this time he will be creating scaring on the raw surfaces. The hope is that the scaring will trick my body into believing there is something there so the body doesn’t think it needs to create the fluid on the raw surfaces any longer. It will be a little more invasive than the last two but hoping to still have the same recovery time. I am extremely grateful to have doctors with my best interest at heart. They want to keep me from undergoing another MAJOR surgery (being cut open and keeping my organs) so they continue to find alternatives to try to avoid this option. 💗

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💗 This last few days have been incredibly overwhelming. I am usually pretty calm up until the day I actually go in but this was so fast and so soon! I was bombarded with pre ops, blood labs, checking iron levels, registration… I am still processing it all. As I began realizing I was allowing Satan to come into my thoughts, giving me that fear and anxiety I had to step back. I was up most of the night last night just with praise and worship music playing. I laid so still asking God to draw near to me. I prayed this over and over and over. As I was praying for this my entire body just relaxed. I was calm for the first time in days. I didn’t get much sleep but I woke up humbled by how tangible He really is. He heard my heart, my thoughts and He held me all night. I can get very lonely in this fight sometimes. Not having “THAT” person by my side. I often take God for granted and just how present He really is. There is no loneliness when you allow God to have that space. It was so comforting and so peaceful to just BE. To be in his arms, in his thoughts, in his presence and in his heart. Knowing He LOVES me the way that he does makes all my fears seem so silly. How many times do I have to repeat this same pattern to realize its all part of his perfect plan? To trust him IN ALL THINGS and know he has me. This morning went so smoothly and I even had time to sit down and write. Yesterday I never would of imagined a day like He gave me today. He is just so good.  

 

“He will lift the anxious and the weary
Calling home the burdened and the lost
I am proof that You delight in second chances
I am proof of the power in the cross” -Mosaic MSC “Miracle”

 

Dear Lord, 

I thank you for the road you have led me down, painful at times but so purposeful. I know Lord that without you during this time I would crumble. I thank you for your unconditional LOVE. I thank you for the hope and promise there is in you. I thank you for your undeniable tangible presence. I thank you for allowing me that peace and comfort just at the right moments when I need it most. I thank you for watching over me and reminding me daily that this is your plan for me and not my own. I thank you for taking on the burdens of my fears, my anxieties, for casting out any doubt I may have and giving me confidence in your word. Lord I just want claim victory over this next surgery whatever the outcome may be. I want to declare that your name and your love surrounds me in every aspect. I pray that you would continue to encourage me in every and all situations. I pray that I would just “BE” more often. That I would allow myself that time in you to just BE STILL. Thank you for that recharge I so badly desired. Thank you for hearing my thoughts and feeling my heart. Thank you for being the constant in my life. The one I can always turn to, talk to and trust whole heartily. 

Thank you.

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💗 I mentioned this in my previous blogs- My surgeon recently offered me an amazing deal financially… They realize my situation and understand the little I pay each month is all I can afford. My bill with them is 50,000$ plus+ (which is really so small to begin with- this surgeon’s done 9 major surgeries on me) Anyway they have offered to make my balance $0 if I can pay just 15,000$ of it by the New Year. That is over a 35,000$ discount. I am asking for major prayer in this area that God would allow an opportunity for me to make this possible. 1st Update- God has been working in this area like crazy! I don’t think I will make it before the New Year but the amount of money I have raised is incredible. I am so grateful and overwhelmed with appreciation. I plan to ask for an extension because of the amount I was able to give. Words can’t describe the love that I feel and the love that I have been given. Thank you.💗 2nd UPDATE- So that extension was GRANTED! God is so good! So I now have till the end of June to pay off what is only 10,000$ now! I am in such awe of the generosity and love that I continue to be given. I ask myself all the time how I am so blessed? How does God love me so much? 

“Healing, freedom
As You speak favor over me
Faith is breaking all impossibility
Your name has overcome
Your name alone
For I know Your thoughts
Your plans for me are good
And I know You hold
My future and my hope
Your promises never fail
Your promises never fail”
-Bethel Music “Promises Never Fail”

All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO 💗

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/kims-wish-list/

I’m Gonna Sing in the Middle of the Storm

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💗This sweet 10 year old baby committed suicide a few weeks ago. At the age of just 10 his sweet body endured 26 surgeries. 26! I cannot even imagine the pain and suffering he went through. The heartache his family and friends must be feeling… When I read this article and the bullying he experienced for being different I fell to my knees in physical pain. This beautiful boy should have been celebrated. He should of been recognized for his courage and his strength. He is more than just another young boy… He is a Miracle. As a tribute to sweet Seven Bridges this blog will be about what we as fellow ostomates go through on a daily basis. It is to bring awareness to the daily, sometimes even hourly struggles we have. We love you Seven! 

💗Every Ostomate is different. Every story is different. The one thing we have in common is our life saving ostomy bag! A miraculous invention by Doctors who came up with an alternative for us ridden with disease. I want to share with you my own journey and my daily struggles. I think it is hard sometimes to understand how sick we have been or still are because of our appearance. So let me remind you… Below is a collage of photos during different stages of my journey.

 #bagsoutforseven#rememberingseven #stopthebullying#hearthurting

💗The bottom corner is my small intestine sticking out of my stomach. That will be that way for LIFE! The only way I can pass gas or have a bowel movement is through my stomach. You can see the bag attached on the photo next to it. Let me tell you what goes into that… Simple right you just snap a bag on and off when it is full or so you would think! Once sometimes twice a week a full change has to happen. This entails ripping the sticky side of a wafer that is literally attached to your skin off. I have a permanent circle imprinted in my skin from where the wafer sits. Then I have to clean and prep the area for the next system to be put on. Warm water, a blowdryer, putty, barrier wipes, powder are all just some of the things involved for every change for me. I cannot change my bag if I have eaten or drank anything. So timing is another issue. If you do try and change your bag after food or drinks, good luck. Your stool which is always liquid form will shoot out of your small intestine. This means you have to clean and prep the area over and over until the intestine stops. I have had one so bad my skin began to bleed and was left looking burned.

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Not only does your own stool feel like battery acid when it hits your skin but then it makes it that much more painful when applying the sticky wafer to that area. So my bag changes generally happen when I first wake up. Every single night I am up 4-5 times emptying the contents of my day. I have tried every trick in the book- no liquids after this time no food after that time. Every day eating something different means it also digests differently so my breakfast may not pass till dinner time or it may go right through me and then I have to be near a bathroom constantly. So sleep is something always interrupted. If you don’t empty your bag when it fills you can have leaks or even a total blow out. (I have had both) Then you wake up covered in your own waste. Not only then do you need an entire bag change but sheets, clothes washed and then yourself! Try doing that while half asleep!

💗How about going out or planning for a concert day… I don’t eat!!! If there is risk that my bag will fill up and look like a balloon under my clothing or my intestine making fart like noises as food/ carbonation passes through- I don’t do it. There are days I don’t eat until 10pm for the first time. This also effects the clothing I wear. My ostomy bag is slightly above my waist line which makes pants with buttons very difficult for me. Nothing that can compress it or that doesn’t allow room to stretch.

💗How about emptying your bag in public… I face the opposite direction of the toilet. I stand over killing my lower back every time I lean forward to empty the contents. You would think I would have a fantastic set of thighs with all the squats I do but it actually contributes to my spinal deterioration and with my cysts currently it is very painful. We have to use liquid deodorant in our bags because the smell is much different than the normal person. My insurance only covers one bottle a month. Emptying my bag up to 20 times a day I obviously cannot use this every time. So I save it for when I am out in public. So an average bathroom trip is one maybe two flushes just to empty my bag then I have to flush it out with water and add deodorizer and then actually go to the bathroom! So I flush the toilet a minimum of 4-5 times a trip. This can be awfully embarrassing. 

💗Bathing… I think this is where I have the hardest time. I never shower unless it is my bag change day. Then I don’t have to worry what gets wet because I am throwing this set out. The bag itself can get wet but not the wafer and tape around it. Therefore it makes it very difficult and time consuming. After you would need to put a new bag on. Some blow dry it but the bags I use have a seal toward the top that melts together when too hot so I never blow dry the actual bag. My regular routine is filling the bath with a very small amount of water… then using pink tape (waterproof – the only one that works) and taping my bag up to my chest. I have to get in and lean back to wash my hair. I then drain the tub and repeat but to wash my body sponge like almost so I don’t get my bag or surrounding areas wet. I never go into a pool or jacuzzi. There are many that do but the risk to me of a bag leak and infecting the whole pool weighs way more heavily on me then missing a swim.

💗I want to make it very clear I cope extremley well with my ostomy bag. It gave me my life back. I look at it as a miracle in itself. The point I am trying to make is that it is not easy let alone for a child. People need to be educated on what they actually are and what they actually do for us that have them. You see those pictures above of me with no hair, black eyes, drains in my belly, 30 plus different medications on my counter… My bag made all of that go away! My bag as time consuming and life changing as it is gave me a quailty of life worth living. If someone wants to make fun of that or be grossed out by that then I feel bad for them. I am alive because of my bag. I am proud to be here and to have endured the things that I have.

💗People ask me constantly what do you do all day? I live!!! I thank Jesus for healing my vision so I can see, for healing my legs so I can walk, for controlling my seizures so I can drive and have some independence back. I do what I can every day that makes me feel accomplished. Wether its just bathing, doing laundry or going to the store… I am living and doing it joyfully with a heart of thanksgiving. God is good in every situation and every circumstance. I have so much to be grateful for. Yes, living with a bag is difficult but I am LIVING!!!!

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💗Dear Seven,

If I had only known you… I would have told you at the age of 10 years old you were more of a man than so many left here today. I would have told you that God made you perfectly in his image just as you were suppose to be. You were… YOU ARE a beautiful miracle. I would of praised you for every scar you endured showing your strength and bravery. I would have stood and clapped for the day you were able to attend a normal school. I would of celebrated your journey and the pain and fear you were able to conquer. I would have told you that you were never alone… that God was holding your hand everyday you walked into that school. That he was holding you so tight while being made fun of. I would have told you that your pain is so temporary and that it will soon be gone for all of eternity! I would have told you how loved you are and how many of us would have cried out for you and your struggles. But I didn’t know you. I didn’t see your tears. I didn’t hear your screams of despair. So I will make it my mission that people, that PARENTS are educated on what we as ostomates go through. The feelings that rise up and how hard they are to fight off. As an adult I struggle, I struggle daily. I cannot imagine as a child just how tough you were how courageous you must have been. I am so sorry you are not with us any longer but I look forward to the day when we will meet. When we will get to share a hug and song of praise together. Free of pain and in Gods holy awe and wonder. Seven Bridges you are forever imprinted on my heart. My tears for you will eventually stop but your memory will never fade. A miraculous, brave, courageous WARRIOR. 💗

For You formed my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You,
for I am #fearfully and #wonderfully made.
#Marvelous are Your works,
and I know this very well.
My frame was not hidden from You
when I was made in secret,
when I was woven together
in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all my days were written in Your book
and ordained for me
before one of them came to be. -Psalm 139:13-16 
💗I know this has been an extra long blog today and I thank you so much for reading and following along. I will update you all on my health in a few weeks or so but for now I just want to share this one last thing-
💗A little over six years ago my cousin told me… you need to go to Bethel Church! They have healing rooms there. People that will just sit and pray over you non stop. Six years ago I was so incredibly sick and full of disease- Redding seemed so far away. I will also be honest that at the time I was a bit skeptical of these healing rooms. I know God is the God of miracles but to see one intentionally happen was a bit far fetched for me. Boy if I was ever wrong about something it was this! In the last six years I would like to think my maturity in Christ has grown leaps and bounds. I think being sick forced me to grow up but not just grow up but grow with God. He has opened so many doors and blessed me with so many unconditional promises throughout this entire journey. I am witnessing MIRACLES all around me and healings, yes HEALINGS!!! He has healed me in so many ways. I know I am not done fighting my battle but to think where I started and where I am today? Incredible. Watching the Christian community band together through crisis and how much love there is between us all is overwhelming! The video I posted below of Baby Jax is just one of these examples. I cannot listen to this song without weeping my heart out for I spent many nights on my knees for this angel. It is everything I feel inside. I’m gonna sing louder and louder in the middle of the storm… Bethel Music’s new album VICTORY is just that! A VICTORY of lyrics praising our Father no matter what the circumstances. Believing and showing the enemy he has no power over us. Most of you that follow me know by now music is my soul but what it also has been over the years are landmarks for me. I know what surgery I had by what album helped me through it. As I am facing another major surgery in the near future I can’t help to think that is why this album is here. Gods timing is perfect and Victory is what I will continue to claim over and over. 
“I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, HOPE WILL ARISE
Death is defeated, the King is alive!
I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me
I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee
I raise a hallelujah, in the middle of the mystery
I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me!”
-Raise A Hallelujah 💗Bethel Music
WHEN YOU SING ENEMIES FLEE!!!!!!!!
💗I usually attend 3-4 worship concerts a year permitting my health allows me to. The majority of these are because the generosity of others. It is very rare that I spend money on anything for myself. One because I don’t have it lol! But when I do things like dog sitting, or helping a neighbor organize thier art room, etc. I am able to make a few extra dollars! This usually goes toward Christmas and Birthday gifts for my family and friends. This year I decided to do something for myself and I purchased my own ticket to see Bethel Music. They are coming right here to Los Angeles! I am going alone and am so good with that. I imagine I will be balling the majority of the time as I find myself so emotional over this album. That is exactly what I want… to be one with God with my arms raised to our King when he is most tangible to me singing Victory over the enemy, over my disease, over all the evil that lurks in the corners when we aren’t looking or let our guard down. Death has already been defeated and I will damned (excuse my language) if I allow Satan to creep in with any doubt or fear. Watching the things happening all around me already gives me chills and I cannot wait to be apart of this tour. 

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💗 I mentioned this in my previous blogs- My surgeon recently offered me an amazing deal financially… They realize my situation and understand the little I pay each month is all I can afford. My bill with them is 50,000$ plus+ (which is really so small to begin with- this surgeon’s done 9 major surgeries on me) Anyway they have offered to make my balance $0 if I can pay just 15,000$ of it by the New Year. That is over a 35,000$ discount. I am asking for major prayer in this area that God would allow an opportunity for me to make this possible. Update- God has been working in this area like crazy! I don’t think I will make it before the New Year but the amount of money I have raised is incredible. I am so grateful and overwhelmed with appreciation. I plan to ask for an extension because of the amount I was able to give. Words can’t describe the love that I feel and the love that I have been given. Thank you. 💗 UPDATE- So that extension was GRANTED! God is so good! So I now have till the end of June to pay off what is only 10,000$ now! I am in such awe of the generosity and love that I continue to be given. I ask myself all the time how I am so blessed? How does God love me so much? 

SING A LITTLE LOUDER!!!

All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/kims-wish-list/

Spoiled Daily

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💗 Happy New Year to each and everyone of you! I pray that your Christmas holiday was filled with love and laughter surrounded with family and friends! As 2018 comes to an end I can’t help but to look back and reflect at all the wonderful things that have happened in my life. “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it”  -Hellen Keller I love this quote so much. When I look back on this year I could choose to see disease and sadness but instead I choose to see strength, bravery and a faithful God who continues to spoil me daily. I don’t talk much about the blessings happening around me CONSTANTLY because I feel that those things are special between the people doing them, God and I. What I will say is God has surrounded me from the beginning with people who love me. People who pray for me and people who support me unconditionally. There are so many of you that are so special to me. There are so many of you that have done so much for me. So when I look back at my year I see love. I feel love. I am overwhelmed with the tangible presence of our savior. My heart is full of thankfulness and gratitude. It is easy to forget the day to day battles I fight because God allows His love to be so much greater. Even as I begin to update you below I will assure you that there has never been a day I haven’t survived… a day I have never bounced back from no matter how hard or painful. My faith is only growing and I pray that 2019 is the year I am able to partake in the oppurtunities I have been given, as well as, interacting with more and more people sharing my testimony and spreading God’s magnificent Joy in Suffering.
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💗  November 29th was my surgery and it went well. We again accomplished what we set out to do. I had my gigantic cysts aspirated and began taking medication in hopes that my ovulation cycles would end and possibly stop the fluid from building so quickly. Unfortunately, it is just 5 weeks later and they are already growing again even with the medication. I will be rechecked in 3 weeks at the 8 week check point and at that time will discuss things with my surgeons. I already know what this means but have some time before it is finalized so I will just continue to pray! I do better when I feel as if I still have options rather than counting down days to another major surgeries. Plus My God is the God of miracles and anything can happen!

   💗 As I was getting blood work done pre physical for this last surgery we found out I was anemic. This was very disturbing for us since I have had perfect iron/ hemoglobin numbers since getting my colon/ large intestine removed. I do have chronic anemia but have done an amazing job keeping up with it over the years and maintaining very healthy levels. When I look at the drop from my blood work in September to November it is drastic. My iron is next to nothing. I knew something wasn’t right as my body pain had reached an all time high in the weeks before. I also couldn’t stop chewing ice which is so out of the norm for me because my teeth are so sensitive. I began a series of iron infusions to help build my red blood count back up and to boost my iron levels back to normalcy. Unfortunately because I was so depleted and them infusing it directly into my bone marrow the side effects have been worse then any surgery recovery or pain I have ever felt. I am not able to move, not even bend my knuckles. The body aches/ joint pain is too much to even describe. I like to think I am tough. Fighting everything without pain meds I can tolerate pain! With this I have just laid in bed crying… tears just streaming down my face because the pain is so bad. If that wasn’t enough it comes with vomiting, migraines and bloody noses. I am told as the iron builds the side effects will get less and less but it will take a full month before I see a noticeable difference. I have three left on the schedule before getting my levels rechecked to see where I am at. This will then be followed by a scope. The scope will be done to see if I am bleeding internally from anywhere or if I have an ulcer. Basically to take the initiative to get to the bottom of the cause of the iron loss.

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  💗  Thankfully the pain only lasts about 48 hours and then disappears as if nothing even happened!?! It is strange to be so violently sick and unable to move and then suddenly wake totally normal. I am so grateful though. This last time I ended up with a cold that has turned into something nasty. I have an infusion tomorrow morning so I asking God for a little leniency when it comes to the body aches this round… I am hoping me being sick doesn’t intensify them. I also have quite a bit of lower back pain from the cysts coming back.  If you have a moment and could say a quick prayer for me I would greatly appreciate it.

 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” -Matthew 18:20

  💗 I mentioned this in my previous blog- My surgeon recently offered me an amazing deal financially… They realize my situation and understand the little I pay each month is all I can afford. My bill with them is 50,000$ + (which is really so small to begin with- this surgeon’s done 9 major surgeries on me) Anyway they have offered to make my balance $0 if I can pay just 15,000$ of it by the New Year. That is over a 35,000$ discount. I am asking for major prayer in this area that God would allow an opportunity for me to make this possible. Update- God has been working in this area like crazy! I don’t think I will make it before the New Year but the amount of money I have raised is incredible. I am so grateful and overwhelmed with appreciation. I plan to ask for an extension because of the amount I was able to give. Words can’t describe the love that I feel and the love that I have been given. Thank you. 💗

“O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine o night
O night divine”
💗 This has always been my favorite Christmas song. It doesn’t matter how many times I hear it, sing it, read the lyrics I am covered in God bumps. The lyrics of this song ring true to my heart in so many ways. It is so simple yet so powerful. “Till He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth” this line literally takes my breath away. I never knew myself till I knew God. I sure as heck had no self worth. His birth was everything for us… is everything for us! “Fall on your knees” here again… I don’t think there is anything more intimate than getting on your knees and praying to God. It isn’t the same when you do it sitting in bed or while doing your hair and getting ready for the day. Sure he appreciates us talking to him anywhere and always but FALL TO YOUR KNEES… I think of when we get to heaven that his awe and wonder will be so mighty that we will have no choice but to fall to our knees in his presence and I get the chills. This songs beauty is endless and warms my heart during the holidays. Thank you Taya for your beautiful version and sharing your glorious God given gift with all us to enjoy! 

All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/kims-wish-list/

Love So Deep…

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. -Joshua 1:9

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🖤 Opening up being so raw and vulnerable was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Yet here I am almost 6 years later still writing! I am so excited that God gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone so many years ago and begin this journey with all of you. My blog has reached over 50 countries now. When I think about that my heart just wants to explode! People from all over the world are reading about God and the amazing things he is doing. People are reading about the HOPE found in Jesus Christ. Most importantly people are just reading about GOD and all of his goodness… despite what your circumstances are! How there is joy in each and every day and that is all because of Him!

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🖤 As for me… they are back! My cysts have come back and just 5 weeks after my last surgery this time. I knew they were back but waited to go to the doctor because I knew what that meant… the talk I was so wanting to avoid. The pain began to get worse and worse to where it wasn’t avoidable anymore and it was yet again confirmed. My cysts are even bigger this time and I now have one on my right ovary as well. So after my uncomfortable exam and when I say uncomfortable I don’t think I have ever really explained that I am as close to the fetal position as possible crying as they do it. The technician that does my exams knows me very well so she is amazing with me but the level of discomfort that I have is beyond painful. I leave there still in tears and am in bed for a day or two after just from the exam not even the cause of the exam.

🖤  So my two surgeons spoke and they both feel it is just too risky to put me through a major surgery right now. I would have to be cut open because of my ostomy situation, it would put me directly into menopause, I would have to start hormone treatments, the recovery process is long and painful… but one of the main reasons is just putting me back under anesthesia again. There are a lot of risks and complications that can occur and we still have zero guarantee that removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes will do the trick. So I may go through all of that and the cysts may still come back! Instead we decided to try one last thing… we will do the aspiration surgery one last time. The same surgery I just had in September so I will get to come home on the same day but I will be awake again during the entire thing. After the surgery this time we are going to start me on a new medication that will keep me from ovulating. Even though I do not have a uterus or any other female anatomy my ovaries still ovulate each month. So we are going to stop that. My doctor thinks this may slow down the fluid from forming or fingers crossed stop it all together. We are going to give this one last shot before going the major surgery route. It looks like the aspiration surgery will be the week after Thanksgiving. We are working on an exact date currently.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -Isaiah 41:10

🖤  I knew this was coming so I don’t think this was as hard to swallow this time around. I knew since September the odds were against me. So I had some time to process things this time around. In the meantime, I have been working a lot on myself. I mention music constantly because it is a part of me. I think there are two types of people those who enjoy music and those who live and breath it. I feel music throughout my entire body. God gave me this gift and I am trying so hard to figure out what to do with it. It is not only my release when things are too heavy but it also my joy… I cannot think of a more joyful time for me then when I am alone with God and his music. He is so tangible in those moments. I can feel him all around me. Communicating with him, hearing him… It is truly the medicine to my soul. He blessed me in so many ways by giving me this gift. I think of all my days in bed not by a calendar but by albums that came out… I know surgeries by artists and songs. There is a song attached to every emotion I experience. I have prayed and prayed for God to lead me where I am suppose to go from here… I have my blog and I love it, I love writing but I want to do more, so much more… I want to share the joy in suffering and the gift of music. Maybe this is my way of being involved through writing or speaking. I am currently reaching out to people I never would have thought I would have! I am stepping out  allowing God to lead me and trusting him knowing he will put me in the right hands.  

 

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🖤  As I prepare for this next surgery I know there is more… so much more when we have Christ as our savior, our father, our provider, our protector. Our fears, our doubts our worries seem so small when HE is so much bigger than it all. Knowing that he is our strength when we are in our weakest moments gives me the courage I need to get up every day.  John 5:6 says, When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” After hearing a sermon on this at church I was blown away at the depth at this simple question… Yes, of course I want to get well! But not just in the physical aspect but completely and wholly in you Christ Jesus… daily restore my love for you! Daily surrendering my life to you! I will worship and sing your praises for I know that I can bare any suffering here for your purpose and kingdoms cause… for the eternal promise and freedom restored in you is incomparable!!! There is MORE!!! So much more in the HOPE, in the LOVE and in the FREEDOM of Jesus Christ! 

 

🖤 If I could ask for a few prayer requests.. 

  1. That God would lead me where I am suppose to be as far as moving in the direction of a career with music. (writing, speaking, social media, blogging, etc.)
  2. My surgeon recently offered me an amazing deal financially… They realize my situation and understand the little I pay each month is all I can afford. My bill with them is 50,000$ + (which is really so small to begin with- this surgeon’s done 9 major surgeries on me) Anyway they have offered to make my balance 0 if I can pay just 15,000$ of it by the New Year. That is over a 35,000$ discount. I am asking for major prayer in this area that God would allow an opportunity for me to make this possible. 
  3. That this surgery would go smoothly and that the cysts do NOT come back. If I can avoid going back under and another major surgery and all the issues it causes me I would love that so much! 

Thank you all so much for loving me, for caring for me and just continuing to support me through every stage of life. I am such a different person today then when I started this journey almost 6 years ago. I am so blessed to be surround by each and every one of you. Grateful. Thankful. Faithful. Yours.

All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com 

https://www.instagram.com/gorgeouscaos/   

https://twitter.com/kimmiekoett

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/kims-wish-list/

Forever Grateful and Forever His…

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“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” -HEBREWS 4:12

🖤 Monday was difficult. It has become a ritual now that the day of surgery I wake up sick. Not sure how to prevent it at this point? Not eating the day before mixed with my PTSD bundles together my anxiety, my emotions and my subconscious thoughts. I personally just wake up and go through the motions. I really don’t give it much thought honestly but I know I better have those blue ER throw up bags near by at all times! After pushing through and making it past the vile smelling surgery soap and the task of brushing my teeth I managed to only get sick twice before leaving the house! Another thing I have mastered is chewing arctic grape gum in the car and replacing a new piece every ten minutes or so! This seems to do the trick of allowing me to make it safely down to the hospital without making a mess in the car! (Had we only learned sooner!) 0034000005450_A1A3_ItemMaster_type_large.jpeg

 

 

🖤 So now I am all checked in and registered. I am at a building I am very familiar with but not at the building my normal surgeries are at! My normal surgeons will not be a part of this procedure. I am scheduled to be in with the radiology department and with one of their surgeons. I am taken back and prepped and everything seems to be going according to plan… but an hour goes by and and I am still not taken. At this point I am dry heaving to the point they have cold packs on me. I just can’t shake it. Then the surgeon walks in and introduces himself and pulls a chair up… he begins to explain the issues to me. He won’t do the surgery without talking to my surgeon first because of “all my abdominal work” inserting needles into that space without talking to him etc. He had multiple questions and concerns despite the orders he had. The issue was that it was a religious holiday and my surgeon was not going to be available to speak with. So another hour goes by as they wait to get ahold of my surgeons partner. At this point the surgeon doing the procedure made the decision to do all of his own testing. So they sent me for all new tests. I was taken for new ultrasounds, CTs, belly scans… and then we waited for all of those results for him to read. I do have to say that I was beyond thankful to have someone so thorough with my care. It just was not at all what I was expecting to walk into that morning! Life right? The entire time I had my own space with a my own TV and privacy. The nurses did everything to keep me comfortable. They even let me have ice chips by the handfuls!!! It was very pleasant.

🖤 My new surgeon walked back in and said, “Okay, you are good to go now but we are going to keep you awake during the procedure!” If I wasn’t sick before I was now more then ever… I felt so bad a new nurse had come back to meet me and I was throwing up and he just stood there waiting and the first thing I had to do was hand him my bag. I know it is a hospital but still…

🖤 So what he found on the new tests is that it is one giant cyst and it is breaking off in separate spaces. Anywhere it can find an open pocket it is filling up with liquid. So he was confident if he drained the main cavity that all the smaller spots would have relief as well. Therefore only having to aspirate one cyst. The surgery itself would only take a total of maybe 20-30 minutes so anything to avoid putting me under anesthesia especially for such a short amount of time he decided against it. Now the problem here is I can’t do pain meds. Numbing medication yes but not pain medication. As I explain the procedure to you all it is very clear why the day of pain medication is needed!

🖤 So 6 1/2 hours after my scheduled time I finally was wheeled back and placed onto a CT scan table. I had a nurse above my head talking to me and holding my hands the entire time. She was so gentle and so sweet. I had another nurse climbing up and down above me placing markers on my stomach after taking image after image trying to get just the exact spot for the surgeon to stick the needle through. I had two other surgical assistants one on each side prepping everything for the doctor and then the surgeon himself, as well, as the people in charge of the imaging and lights. So the room was pretty full. There were large cameras up with my entire lower half of my body up on the screen. I could see everything. All of the pockets of fluid, my pelvic bone, my ostomy bag… it was such a weird feeling. The surgeon was very good about walking me through and explaining everything… He first numbed my stomach and that was fine no pain at all really. Then he used a needle to start breaking through the tissue to get deep to numb down below and that hurt! It hurt a lot… but it didn’t last too long. Then the big needle was placed inside. I didn’t feel it go in but when he started to extract the fluid I felt it. It was pressure not pain but the deeper he got it turned into more of a cramping feeling. That whole part was maybe 15 minutes. Then the room got really quiet and I was a bit confused because they all had been so diligent in distracting me the entire time. Then I felt it… I actually screamed! “Something isn’t right… My body is shutting down… The cramping is more than I can take” The tears were just rolling down my face. They told me to slowly count down from 30 and the pain would be gone. They had just removed the needle and the catheter that it sits in. Apparently that is the part that hurts. Of course they don’t warn you because they need you to be relaxed as they do it! That right there is what the pain meds are for. If it weren’t for that moment I don’t think it would have been traumatizing… but unfortunately it was! That was it. Then they wheeled me into recovery and since I was wide awake he came right in to talk to me.

 

🖤 They got a significant amount of fluid out which was great! What I am facing is an ongoing problem. We had an idea of this but from his experience and the tests he did on me. Leaving my ovaries and fallopian tubes look like it may be the cause. When I had my hysterectomy my surgeons and I collectively made this decision. Having me deal with menopause and start hormone treatments on top of everything else that I was going through didn’t make sense at the time and I agreed. I prayed and prayed to be able to keep my ovaries. I can’t for the life of me repeat the terminology that he used but because of the lack of scar tissue and amount of free space in there my body wants something, anything to be there. My fallopian tubes are providing that fluid sourced by my ovaries. If they were gone there would be no liquid is how I understood it. Again this is first draft… I am still going to be meeting with my OBGYN surgeon to discuss everything and hopefully understand everything better but I needed a break! Hearing that my options were either getting my cysts aspirated every few months while awake or having another major surgery wasn’t to reassuring for me. 

🖤 Recovery physically is so easy compared to all of my other surgeries. I wasn’t cut open for the first time ever!!! Plus I got to come straight home?!? I had some soreness but just the first week. I mean how wonderful is that in it’s self!!! Hallelujah Praise Jesus right? I would say where I struggled this time around is emotionally. I went numb. I think hearing that once again the problem was not fixed was hurtful to my heart. That and knowing that this is only one aspect of my body and not even the main issue I deal with or what keeps me most uncomfortable on a daily basis is also difficult. I had about 3-4 days where I shut down. I slept a lot and didn’t really come out of my room. What made it even harder was my 38th Birthday fell into this stretch… 

IMG_7174🖤 Those that follow me on social media may have already read the following but this is something that I wrote the night of my Birthday. 🖤

🖤 You want me to believe that I am alone in this world… You want me to picture a desolate desperate place where the sun never rises, where the air is so thick that it’s hard to see or even to breathe… choking on the negativity that surrounds me. You slither your way into the most manipulative circumstances. You hide in fear and in doubt- you disguise yourself in anxiety and despair… the EVIL that you carry is earth shattering. I will not EVER let you back in this life of mine. What you intend to use to destroy me I will use to conquer you daily and raise HIS name!
My scars both internally & externally for all to see reflect off my bedroom mirror. I open todays journal “September 14th” the day of my birth & I’m reminded just how much my savior LOVES me. How close HE is listening to my needs. How delicately HE is holding my heart. How HE is teaching me to put on the garment of PRAISE when my spirit is weak!!! HE not only is giving me the strength but the will to freely live. Overwhelmed by HIS presence HE is there for me. Calm. HIS voice brings peace. HE is ALL I need. This is how I prepare for battle. Wearing HIS armor with his shield of protection.
My life may not be what I anticipated it to be. My choices ahead may not be what I expected. Monday may not have gone exactly how I would have imagined! Inevitably another surgery will be in my future… but what I do know is my eyes will always be on fixed on JESUS! This is my constant. HE is my Everything… My future will ALWAYS be better than okay because HE is in control.
September 14th the day I was born.

🖤 When I went numb and shut down the devil was winning. He was getting exactly what he wanted. He wants us in a room with no door- to shut off the outside world and fill our heads with noise. He loves distraction. He loves making us hurt, feel pain and be isolated. When I opened my journal and read those words “SING” I already knew… I felt it in my bones. God was speaking directly to my heart. Those words were for me. There isn’t a soul that connects to music with suffering and with joy more in this exact moment and HE used that. To think how it was orchestrated- I just can’t! “I fall down to my knees in AWE cause your Glory is so beautiful” It is in our weakest moments when we have to put ourselves into his arms. Step into the fear not and not away from it. When we run from what makes us uncomfortable we can never live out our full potential. Blocking that noise and focusing on him and him alone. That is when and only when we can clearly hear and see him. I have sat down since and been writing like mad giving one thing after another over to God. Declaring his name over situation and circumstance. Things that I have had no control on or over anyway but devoted so much time to! I have told him everything and released it. I have to tell you it is so freeing. Freeing to know that the same God who created the universe is the same God watching over me and my life. That reassurance I mentioned above about not having… yeah I think maybe I misspoke because how much better could it get? God just continues to pour his love into my life and there is NOTHING comparable. NOTHING!!! I am forever grateful and forever his… 

🖤 “My life is Yours
And my hope is in You only
And my heart You hold
‘Cause You made this sinner holy
And holy, holy” 🖤

 

All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/kims-wish-list/

If Not For You….

-but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:31IMG_7018

 It is so crazy how well we know our bodies when we have been sick for so long. About 4 weeks ago I said to my mom that I think I have a cyst back in my abdominal cavity. I have been so bloated and just been so exhausted. My body has felt very run down as if I was lacking something but the blood work always shows I am good. Then I started having pain when I would use the restroom. The pain became more and more intense as time went on. Then this last weekend as I was getting ready for my cousins wedding I actually collapsed on the bathroom floor. I fell hard doubled over in pain. Shaking, crying, unable to voice the issue because I was in so much pain. If I could describe it now… I would say being awake while someone was hammering nails into my intestine? It was nonstop, deep and sharp pain. It eventually subsided but you all know me- NO HOSPITAL ERs!!!! So I waited till Monday to be seen…

❤ I decided to start by process of elimination… so I went to my OBGYN first. Well it didn’t take long after an ultra sound to see that my gigantic cyst was back and guess where? My abdominal cavity! Just like before! Almost as big as last time too just about a cm smaller. This time I also have a cyst on my bladder (most likely the cause of pain when I’m using the restroom) and a third one up around my stoma (small intestine) So from there I was sent straight over to get a CT scan and get further testing done. 

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❤Rewind❤

 Just to fill you in on the past couple months prior to this… about 4-5 weeks after my last surgery (in April) my hernia popped back out. If you remember that was one of the three things they were fixing during that surgery. So that was disappointing for sure. That being said we have never just done surgery to fix a hernia so at the end of the day it was not that big of a deal… or so I thought. What I soon began to realize it was and it is a HUGE deal!!! As I have begun to understand my body more and more I have realized that if my small intestine is connected below then it prolapses with pressure and exits my rear end. When it is disconnected and formed as an ileo it causes a hernia with pressure and sends mucus out every single time I use the restroom. The mucus issue has become so insane. There are times I literally need a bathroom every 10 minutes. It is extremely uncomfortable. The hernia always being located behind my ostomy site (same spot every time) causes pain, food blockages among other issues. So the constant here is always my small intestine. Whatever it is hooked up to it seems to fail. You cannot live without your small intestine. I have already had portions of it removed and with no large intestine (colon) left my options are very limited. So whoever I see- we have done it, explored it or removed it. My surgeon has met with the top 400 colorectal surgeons in the country and discussed my case, flown to Singapore, done things I can only hope everyones doctors would do for them… I am very happy with the care I am under just frustrated with my own body and how it works. That being said, what I will be doing is meeting with a hernia specialist. She is in Beverly Hills but works out of Cedars as well. I am looking forward to seeing if she can shed some light on how to maybe manage the pain or if there is another possibility in handling the hernia itself so it doesn’t grow in size, etc. 🙌🏻

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 The other focus currently is my spine! I have continued to get CT scans/ MRI’s over the years for one reason or another. My doctor(s) being observant as they are noticed changes early on with my spine. More recently things have taken a more significant turn. I was diagnosed with Spondylosis. Basically in a nutshell my lower vertebrae are deteriorating. The discs are rubbing together and turning the bones into dust. It has created a black tar residue where the bones should be. It is very common in elderly people but not as much in people my age! Lucky me right? 😂 So I am currently in physical therapy multiple times a week. I like it a lot. I did physical therapy a few times over the years but at a big facility. Where I am now is way more intimate and personal. I love the one on one attention and I can walk there! It is literally across the street from my house 😃 We are going to continue these sessions and then do more testing. If there is no improvements then I will move onto the spine center at Cedars for spine infusions. So fingers crossed please!!! I would love to continue physical therapy and exercise at home. Anything to avoid further damage. 

❤Fast Forward❤

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❤ So after further testing my doctors decided the best thing to do would be to drain the cysts. So I will be going back under… YES, you heard me correctly! ANOTHER SURGERY!!! September 10th only days before my 38th birthday. The good news is it will be out patient surgery this time around🙌🏻 Can you believe it? I am so excited to be coming home the same day!!! There is no guarantee that this will not continue to happen. So praying that this non invasive way of fixing the issue will go smoothly. If in fact I may have to have this done again and again my prayer would be that it is painless and effortless. If you would join me in that prayer I would greatly appreciate it.

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❤ After sitting in hours of traffic with nothing but time on my hands, emotional and exhausted… I begin driving down the grade coming back into town, MY town seeing the sun going down… watching the amazing colors melt together. It has always been one of my most favorite things, I don’t really think the sky can get more beautiful? I realized right then and there that MY God was with me, literally like right next to me. HE is steering the wheel, riding shotgun, holding my hand, tucking me in at night… He isn’t going to leave me, like ever!!! On my worst days HE gives me that peace, that joy, that happiness and let’s me know, “Hey WE got this!” I am never alone and YOU don’t have to be either. His love is so tangible and it is so so real… 

“All world is Yours
My God this world is Yours
All You made to be Yours
I know You love us all
You reign forever
You reign forevermore
My heart…” -My Valentine Hillsong Worship 

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❤ And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. -1 Peter 5:10

Lord, I am so grateful that you are my King of Kings, my Savior, my Redeemer and that you will never waste my discomfort, my pain or suffering. I am so thankful that everything, not just some things but every single thing, will come together for your good. I am so blessed to be one of those who love you and are called according to and for your purpose. My body may be weak but my heart is strong and with you Lord I can and will do any and all things. Lord there is nothing better than this right now. Nothing better than being in your presence, than hearing your voice, than feeling your love… Thank you Lord for being my All today, tomorrow and ALWAYS.

❤ Every once in awhile a song will come along that will pull at your heart strings a little differently than the rest do… “Remembrance” has literally knocked me to my knees and left me absolutely wrecked. 😭

🎶 “You’ve been so, so good to me
You’ve been so, so good to me
Oh to think where I would be
If not for You
If not for You”🎶

 ❤ I mean I just can’t! Sitting here thinking of who I used to be and where my life used to be and who I am and where I am today! I legit can hardly catch my breath… all the times HE watched over me, protected me… not only the things & situations HE kept me safe from but the people HE protected me from as well. 💔 People think that being sick has been the hardest part of my life or all the surgeries I have endured but honestly it does not even come close to trying to do life without GOD! There is nothing that could ever be more painful then separating yourself from the LOVE of God. NOTHING. Life has no existence without HIM. This song has made my heart EXPLODE. 💛 Thank you Benjamin Hastings and Chris Davenport for writing such a beautiful beautiful song 🙏🏻 and thank you Hillsong Worship for bringing it to life. To be able to express the love, the joy and the raw emotion for the gift of salvation leaves me forever grateful. 💕

❤ Jesus, I trust Your love for me is absolute. Nothing You require will bring me harm.❤

All for YOU Always,

Kimberli West XOXO

Christiangirlhere@gmail.com

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/kims-wish-list/

💜 Healing Broken Souls.

 

💙 This was a big week for me. I spent part of it at Cedars Sinai 🏥 for my 6 week check ups. It is hard to fathom that 6 weeks have gone by already… (really it’s been 7) I feel as if I blinked my eyes and another surgery has come and gone. I often feel that is how the last 6 almost 7 years of my life have been. I closed my eyes and when I opened them again life was somehow in fast forward but I was still on pause. My nights of laying in bed as a little girl and dreaming of what life would be like as a grown up have turned into nights as a grown up laying in bed praying to God what life would be like a week from now… even a day? Really that He would just continue to be my comfort, my peace and my understanding in this storm.

💙 Check ups went really well for the most part. I am having a couple issues with my small intestine but will save those for another time ( kind of hoping they will resolve on their own) I am scheduled to see a new doctor at Cedars for my psoriasis and hopefully come up with a better plan as it has decided to attack my scalp again! Moving my entire team to Cedars I believe is the best plan for me at this point. I still won’t give up my Internal Medicine doctor up in Santa Barbara but every one else is now down at Cedars. It really is the best care you can get and the absolute best staff there is! I know I am a little basis but… seriously unbelievable in every way! I also with be seeing my orthopedic surgeon who put the titanium pins in my sacrum a few surgeries back in a of couple weeks. I have had some abnormal test results on my last CT scans/ MRI that have led my doctors to see signs that I have early signs of spondylosis. Basically my lower spine is showing signs of deterioration. So I will be meeting with her to go over a plan!

 

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💙 The second part of my week was fabulous!!! I was blown away with Cody Carnes and Kari Jobe Carnes visiting my hometown. I joke because every time they have had a show in the past I have had to have a surgery. I have missed several of their shows that I had tickets for because of being ill or going under. Here they are now literally 5 minutes from my home and just a day before I was cleared to drive again and doing things on my own. I swear God’s timing is so perfect, always. Just the two of them played an acoustic set. It was so special and so intimate. A totally God orchestrated evening. Not only that but then having the opportunity to talk with them and even… PRAY together just the three of us after everyone had left. God, HE is so so good people! We prayed for healing and for hope for those who have yet to understand or experience the joy in suffering or just who have never felt the love of Jesus. Truly so special.

35329319_10217242821721339_680189813139177472_n🙏🏻 We wait in hope for the Lordhe is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lordeven as we put our hope in you. – Psalm 33:20-22 🙏🏻

💙 Over the years I have noticed certain things that trigger certain reactions from me. When I received my first ostomy bag they were very noticeable. This is when my panic attacks became really noticeable. Leaving the house my hands would get clammy, my throat would dry up, I would be irritated at everything… some days I would just begin to cry and run back into the house. The feeling of being anywhere but my safe space was overwhelming to the point I felt the walls closing in. This was so difficult for me but I pushed myself. I pushed myself in prayer, in being open with my doctors, my parents  and even vulnerable here on my blog. Then in doing simple things like walking my dog and working my way up to normalcy again. It slowly got easier with time or at least I thought it did…

💙 So when I had my surgery to remove my ostomy and get my J Pouch the first time, I thought for sure my panic attacks would end? I thought my ostomy bag was the whole reason for them to begin with… but they didn’t! Instead they intensified and I actually began getting what they called anxiety tremors. My hands would shake uncontrollably and my teeth would chatter. Every time a subject was brought up that made me anxious or I got stressed out these things would occur. Let’s say I was talking about something that I was “overly passionate” about, then it was a whole process to calm me down because of what it was doing to my body. This is all sub-conscience as well. I have no control over any of it which makes it even more difficult to process for me. I have an amazing attitude in my heart. My will and want are both there but my actual body is rejecting my thought process and this is so so hard for me.

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💙 I remember coming home from the hospital after having my mini stroke and sitting at the kitchen table… I was explaining everything that I could remember to my Mom and a friend, they had showed me the the piece of paper I had tried to write on with my hand that worked at the time. When I saw the chicken scratch I had actually written opposed to what my brain had thought were actual words!?! My teeth, well they were chattering so hard I thought they were going to jump out of my mouth and shatter on the floor. I literally had to hold my mouth closed to keep my jaw from jolting. I remember my Mom was trying to calm me down. She was so worried with me just being released from the hospital and not wanting anything further to happen to me. It is a scary thing to feel let alone to watch.

💙 Then with my last few surgeries I have been so incredibly sick the day before and all the way up to being wheeled back. Now I can’t even talk about certain things without dry heaving or getting that horrible feeling in my stomach. Just the thought, let alone the smell of alcohol swabs sends me into the fetal position. The soap you have to use before surgery to wash with- I can’t even look at the bottle! Hand sanitizer does the same thing to me. Ugh and don’t even mention jello around me! I was having a hard time understanding why I blacked out before being wheeled back this last surgery… Why even though they say I was awake in recovery and talking at some points that I have no recollection whatsoever. Welp, apparently I am struggling with PTSD and have been and it has only increased with the number of surgeries/ years I have been sick. 😖

         🙌🏻 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. -Romans 16:20 🙌🏻IMG_6320 (1)🏥 This picture is not of me but… this IS however MY surgeon (the tallest male next to the screen) that has done 11 of my 12 operations. Just thought I would give you all a glimpse into my world.

💙 I never thought of PTSD as something that could affect someone like me? The more I am learning about it and how it works the more it makes sense to me. I am currently seeking a Christian cognitive therapist to help me work through this area in my life. It is so important to me to have God as the center of EVERYTHING therefore he has to lead this fight in my life as well. I have worked with and had a few different therapists and a psychiatrist over the last 6 years. Our methods of healing are so different though we just don’t gel. It is such a tricky thing because like I said before my heart and my will and my want do not have the desire to act the way my body is reacting to certain triggers. I do not have the “typical” characteristics that go along with the symptoms of someone with PTSD. This is again why I love having the opportunity to share my journey… I am not the normal case in any situation and I love that. I love being able to relate to others because of the fact that I am different and I don’t fit into any stereotype box. With so many auto immune diseases, even though we may have the same one- two cases are almost NEVER the same. Doctors, nurses even our own families sometimes can’t understand our struggles because they don’t live it and have a hard time seeing it when most of our battle is from the inside. I will ALWAYS be vulnerable with my own self in hopes it can help others ALWAYS.

🙏🏻 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your comforts delight me.
-Psalm 94:19 🙏🏻 

 🎶 Faith is rising up like ivy
Reaching for the light
Hope is stirring deep inside me
Making all things right
Love is lifting me from sorrow
Catching every tear
Dispelling every lie and torment
Crushing all my fears
You crush all my fears
With Your perfect love 🎶 

 -Kari Jobe “The Garden”

💙 This. This is the difference people. I may have been diagnosed with PTSD but so what? I go to bed in prayer not fear. I go to bed knowing when my head hits that pillow my dreams, my breaths and even my heart beats are in Gods hands not my own. My worries have already been caught and released. The lies and the torment of the devil have already been shattered. The reason my body reacts but my heart can’t is because thats the house the LORD dwells within. Guess what? He isn’t EVER leaving so this will never get ahold of me. It may affect me in ways that make me uncomfortable. That is a given. But let’s face it life is uncomfortable, isn’t it? I have learned how to adapt in pretty much any environment given to me. My only prayer would be that I could encourage others to have that same hope in him as I do. It hurts my heart more than anything to see others struggle. To see others hide or live with shame and guilt. Those dealing with depression or addiction. I pray daily for lives to be changed and broken souls to be healed. Trust me HE has so much HOPE to share! So much comfort and peace to give. His presence is so known and his love is so tangible. Just reach out… Just reach out…

 

All For Him,

💜 Kimberli West xoxo

https://kimskause.wordpress.com  //  https://kimskause.wordpress.com/kims-wish-list/

christiangirlhere@gmail.com  //  https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

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Here Now.

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Looking at me here you would never know that for the last 24 hours I had been dry heaving and vomiting what little I had to come up after not being able to eat the two days prior. I’ve been up for 30 plus hours and absolutely delirious. After walking into an over flowing check in, waiting in registration, I was then rushed to my surgical floor and through the key card door to my bed. It was honestly a blur. I was so sick the entire time… I asked for my Dad to come back early and they graciously allowed it. My nerves started to settle with him next to me and my surgeons both coming in and talking with me. Things started to take a turn for the worse though when the anesthesiologist came to my side.

I thought we had this down to a science at this point but he was new and I am not sure if he had something to prove or what his issue was? He did not want to follow the previous notes left by the doctor before him. I tried my best to explain this was my 12th major surgery and about my 30th time under anesthesia and I knew what worked for me but he was convinced he was going to do a nerve block. Nerve blocks make me extremely sick! The problem is they wear off! They are temporary. The second they wear off I feel every inch of the pain and then become violently sick. I asked my Dad to please talk to him as well and he did but ultimately it still made no difference. He just kept telling us “Well this is a much different surgery, more invasive than before!” I wanted to laugh out loud… more invasive?!? Do you know who I am? Do you know what has been done to me! I just had to let it go at that point. They were going to do what they were going to do and I was being prepped to wheel back and my nerves were making me sick again. Everyone was asking me questions, allergies, metal in my mouth, ready to go? It was like a movie and it was playing in fast forward. Suddenly I shouted No wait, Dad… We haven’t even prayed yet and I reached out for his hand. He held my hand and the room all of the sudden went silent. I heard nothing but his voice. In that moment God gave me total peace and comfort and then total blackness.

 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. -Romans 16:20 

I have never in all my surgeries experienced anything like this. I am always awake for the ride down the hallway, I move myself onto the surgery table, my surgeon jokes around with me, my operating nurses comfort me, I know I am being strapped in, then I am told to count or told I am going to sleep, etc… This has never happened, ever. My Dads prayer was the last thing I heard. I remember nothing after.

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Surgery was about 3 1/2 hours. They tell me that everything went fantastic. The cystic mass was actually full of fluid to their surprise. It was so compacted they weren’t able to see the fluid on the ultrasound. That is why originally they thought it was dry. So they drained it and removed it! The so called “growth”  that had us all petrified was actually the shadow of my ovary. The mass was so big and compacted it shifted the way things sat and the mass pressed up against my ovary to where it looked as if I had something growing inside! So we had nothing to biopsy!!! No CANCER even needed to be detected. Isn’t God so good? Hallelujah! So these types of cysts can and most likely will come back, the main cause in my case is from having multiple surgeries. So we are gonna keep a close watch on things and catch them early IF and when they do come back. Now we know how to attack them so all is good on that end of the spectrum! My hernia was removed and properly repaired with bio mesh. My small intestine was pulled all the way through and is no longer in a loop formation. My J pouch that has still been intact inside (just disconnected) has now been undone completely. My small intestine was now taken from the end and pushed through my stomach to create a new stoma. So I have several areas that are extremely sore and several different entry points.

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(My stomach is very swollen as this is just hours after surgery. The main incision is the long strip on the bikini line, there is stitches all around my stoma that you can’t see under my bag but they make a circle formation and behind that, as well as, underneath for my hernia repair. The nerve catheters are under the white tape. They have tiny wires that go down into the wounds and then those wires are connected to IVs that pump the numbing medication. The grey circles are monitoring my nerves. They are plugged into a machine collecting data on the table next to me.)

I have little to no memory of the recovery room whatsoever. This has NEVER happened. I always know in detail my stay, my nurse, the time… I am so OCD. So this experience was so different for me. Apparently when I woke up I was in excruciating pain. The anesthesiologist team was called back in several times. They finally agreed to sedated me again and give me what I originally asked for in the very beginning. The Nerve Catheters you saw above (which by the way do not expire) So they were placed into my wounds at this time. Nerve catheters pump small amounts of numbing medication directly into your incisions. So you basically don’t feel your pain. It is kind of the best thing ever and is narcotic and opiate free! Why could they not just do this during surgery for me is still confusing? This entire process took 6 hours! My poor Dad sat in recovery next to me for 6 hours while the only recollection I have of the entire thing is reaching out for his hand at one point and him grabbing it. Normally you only wait in recovery till you wake up or because there aren’t beds available upstairs but they had 5 on this day ready and waiting but my pain was so bad and I was so sick they couldn’t release me.

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 (here is a close up of one of the two nerve catheters placed in me)

When I got up to my room things were still fuzzy. I don’t remember being wheeled there or the elevator ride up, I don’t remember my transfer attendant or being transferred into my hospital bed? But I remember my Dads voice. I remember him setting my room up the way I like it… my fan, the a/c, the lights off, my special blanket and pillow. He was running around, I could feel his energy, he wanted to make everything just right for me and he was doing it as fast as he could. Normally I would be anxious but I wasn’t at all I was so calm like unbelievably calm. Writing this right now I have tears coming down my face because I am realizing just how much Dad loves me and everything he does for me.

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When I write my blogs I am always listening music always… Literally Steffany Gretzinger’s “Save ME” came on as I’m writing this part about my Dad and the words just keep repeating….

“You’re my hero
You always pick me up
Before I self-destruct
You’re my hero”

If you know anything about the album Blackout Steffy just released or even this song you would understand why this has touched me so deeply. God is so incredibly thoughtful with his timing and with his gestures. I can’t make this stuff up. He is working in me in ways I can’t even describe and it is through MUSIC which I am so thankful for!!! I am telling you when people say God speaks to them… IT IS REAL! I love Bethel and I love Elevation Worship- two reasons why I wanted to go to Outcry so badly… But Mosaic MSC and Steff’s Blackout album… THOSE are the reasons God brought me there. He is always opening my eyes to new things and new people I didn’t even know I needed. I could write an entire blog just on this…

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A little later that evening I awoke and saw my beloved nurse who I won’t name for her own privacy. My nurse who has been with me since my very first surgery. She smiled from ear to ear and leaned over and just hugged on me. That was God again. My floor is big and there are many nurses… I love them all don’t get me wrong but how do I get my girl no matter what day I go in on? No matter what side I end up on? What time of year? It’s God. 10 surgeries at this specific hospital and I wake up to her face every single time!!!

 

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

-Colossians 2: 6-7

After the third day my nurses shift was switching and I had a floater for a night. The first thing I noticed was her necklace it was a  beautiful cross. I complimented her on it and she held it with her hands and smiled. Later that evening as she was going over my medical screen she asked me how I stayed so happy? I asked what she meant by that and she replied, “You have been through so much yet you carry a very positive energy with you.” My only response to that was that God has continued to be my strength and comfort. That if all of my pain and suffering is helping even one person then every ounce of it is worth it. She began to have tears stream down her face. She lifted her arms to the Lord and she started to sing. Not quietly either. She said “I knew I would meet you today… I just knew!” I was a little out of sorts by it all but I just listened to her voice. She was singing the old church hymn “Faith is the Victory” and not just a verse but the entire song! She proceed to tell me her story of coming to know the Lord and singing and singing. I felt like she was in my room for HOURS! She never went to another patients room? I wasn’t sure how she could do this? I must of fallen asleep because the next thing I remember it was the morning and she was next to my bed to say goodbye. I apologized for falling asleep on her. I had not rested so well ever while in the hospital. I think I slept 6 or 7 straight hours. She held my hands and said, “the presence of the Lord is with us and He will give you rest.” Then she prayed over me and as she left… she was still singing. It was such a surreal experience and to have in the hospital?!? She was truly a beautiful woman. I look back at it now and ask myself did that really happen? But yeah it did! She even gave me a card to keep in contact with her so I know I’m not dreaming…

“Faith is the victory!
Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory,
  That overcomes the world.” -My nurse singing in her beautiful voice

I felt like God just opened doors for me everywhere I looked this stay. I know I call my nurses my family but to hear them all call me family this was a first for me. I know they care about me but I was being loved on and hugged and held. I am a grown woman and not very good with affection and these women just loved and loved on me. Thats what they do. They are some of the warmest most compassionate human beings alive. They have invited me into their lives and I am beyond grateful for these friendships. God did this. God gave me these wonderful people to do life with. I don’t even have words.

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My hospital stay was a little longer than I had hoped for. Even though I love everyone there I still miss the comfort of my home and of course my Jersie Mae. My small intestine decided to stay asleep or blocked. Not really sure because nothing was coming out of it and I was so nauseated and constantly dry heaving because I had nothing to vomit!!! So on Day #3 we had to insert a tube into it in hopes that it would help move things along. Well it didn’t! It only made things so much more uncomfortable! Always looking at the plus side of things though… not having an appetite always sheds those unwanted pounds off! 🙂 Knowing my body and how to insert and remove the tube myself I did a bit of bartering to get out and back home with my puppy. I had to be able to drink enough fluids, stop vomiting and be ok with the nerve catheters removed before I could get the exit card! So slowly but surely I knocked each one of these out. By the 5th day I was wearing my cozy sweats walking around the hospital, getting my own crushed ice cubes and visiting with my nurses. My intestine still wasn’t awake but by the end of day 6 I convinced them to let me go home with the tube in still.

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So I am at home now and doing my best! Each day is a little bit different. I have had a couple rough days of nausea still. The vomiting is intense because it leaves me that much more sore for the following day. The big incision doesn’t hurt really at all. It is where they repaired the hernia that absolutely kills. I cannot cough, laugh, hiccup, etc. I literally feel as if my insides will fall out if one of these occur. My pelvic bone/ abdominal region burns periodically and really intensely. Almost like something is tearing and on fire at the same time. I had to do my first bag change since being home and that was very painful. My stoma is almost triple in size still from surgery and surrounded in stitches. My wafer that the bag attaches to can’t rub against it in any way or it is very uncomfortable. The only other real issue I am having is a bit of a speech problem. I am not able to always find my words right away and then when I do they aren’t always correct? I am hoping this is just because of long term anesthesia effects and will eventually just fade away so I am trying not to think too much about it just yet. Then there is everyday stuff like showering, walking enough, etc… But like I said everyday is different. I know each day will get easier and I am that much closer to fully healing. I am already down to taking tylenol just twice a day once in the morning when I wake up and once at night before I go to sleep. The best part… I am home! I am with my best gal who is snuggling me almost too much! Her little pug face can’t get close enough to mine.

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My prayer is that this was my final surgery. I pray that all of these amazing calming and comforting hands were hands of healing sent by you, God. I pray that you would lead me down the path where my life is meant to go. That I would be able to stand on my own as I have before and have you as my confidence. I pray for your strength and your comfort in my recovery. I pray for my relationship with my parents to grow stronger and that the bond that we have would only flourish for you and your purpose. I pray that I can release the guilt of my sickness and the burden I feel that I am to my loved ones. I pray you would help walk me through these steps as it affects my everyday relationships and how I interact with these people. I pray for my prayer life to only increase and become more prominent and more intimate with you Lord. I pray for complete and total healing of my body in your name. Lord I thank you for always being with me. I thank you for your breath, for your spirit, for your eternal gift of life. Lord I thank you for the gift of music. I thank you for the unconditional connection you have given me and the peace and joy that it brings me in the chaotic world we live in. Lord I thank you for giving me the life that I have, the opportunities it has brought me, the blessings and the purpose it has given me. Amen.

“My forever in Your heart
Your steps I will follow
I put my trust in who You are
Your voice is my arrow
And I will walk into the dark
To see how the light breaks through
I will run into Your arms
I will hold on to You
I will lift my eyes to things unseen
To the promise in Your victory
And I will build my life on the mystery
Of where You call me, and I will go
Into the unknown” 

 

All For Him,

Kimberli West xoxo

http://www.kimskause.wordpress.com / christiangirlhere@gmail.com

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

Lastly for those of you who have Spotify… you have to check these two songs out by Hillsong Worship. They are sooooooo good! Obsessions is a remake of a Delirious song and I honestly think it is one of their best EVER. (the Crowder version melts my heart too) This acoustic Nashville version of Who You Say I Am is A-A-mazing!!! (link below)

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/32tGEI5vhc1FfmDO3JBG1n

I’m still in YOUR hands-

 

This Tuesday (tomorrow) at 5:30am I will be checking back into my hospital for what we all are praying is my last and final surgery. 

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I believe I left you all last where I had visited my urologist and she was sending me for some further testing… Well those tests came back showing I had a couple of cysts in the 7cm range. Nothing to be too alarmed about but the plan was to continue to keep an eye on things. I was scheduled to go back in 4 weeks to get things reevaluated. Around the 3 week mark I was getting out of the shower when all of the sudden I had a pain in my lower back and abdomen area. A type of pain I have never experienced before. I hit the ground immediately crying out for what seemed for hours. (I think it was maybe 10 minutes) Our neighbors for sure thought we were sacrificing an animal of some sort! I felt like a toddler who could not control their emotions, it was bad. Once we were able to get me to my bed I did not move except to use the restroom for a good 5 days. I didn’t shower, see a doctor, nothing… The pain was so bad I refused to get into a car or do anything. We had step stools set up to help me move from my bedroom to the bathroom, it was the only way I could get around. Slowly but surely the pain subsided and things became normal again. And I went to that 4 week check up…

Cedars Sinai is hands down one of the best Hospitals period. They are rated in the top 10 for numerous departments (including the IBD department) and they are in the top 20 for Hospitals in the NATION. I am so blessed to be able to have this as my home base. But what I will say is that my brilliant surgeons don’t always get back to you with test results day 1 or even day 2… They are so busy I completely understand so it came as a total shock when my actual doctor, not her assistant called me the same day as my follow up tests. I knew my test results must of have been serious at that very moment.

It was 8pm on a Monday night and as she began talking I remember just hearing certain words she was saying not actually listening to the conversation in its entirety. I had to get myself together and focus. What I did understand is that I had an abnormally large cyst and just one now that was visible. So it appears the other had ruptured (aka my excruciating pain the days before) That is was so large it needed immediate attention and to be biopsied for the “C” word. This was no longer her department being my urologist so she was putting a call into my OBGYN. I was going to hear from him in the morning and to go from there.

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So now it is Tuesday morning and I am awoken by the telephone. My OB called first thing. Long story short after two appointments with him this abnormally large cystic mass has got to come out of me NOW! It is larger than the human heart and spread out in a flat shape rather than the normal round or oval shaped cyst. That in itself is unusual but it is also bone dry. There is no fluid in or around it. My ovaries which I still have are not visible. It has covered them completely and I have two smaller cysts growing on the outside of this large one. But the main concern is a growth that has taken form inside this large mass. So there is no way to go about it. It has to come out and be biopsied and like I said above, NOW.

In the meantime my hernia that loves to pop out behind my ostomy site has come back. I had a CT scan done for this in between all of this chaos to confirm it was there. I had to stop eating meat, vegetables, really anything with texture over a month ago. Everything was getting stuck in the pocket of the hernia and my stomach would become very extended. It is extremely uncomfortable. So my normal surgeon will be repairing the hernia during this surgery as well. I posted a picture below of my stomach after eating a cucumber salad!

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Then there was the issue I have mentioned several times now with my small intestine. If you can remember, some days I have output in my bag other days I don’t have any. Some days everything comes out like I still have a connected J Pouch? It doesn’t make sense. This started almost 7 1/2 months ago. I saw my surgeon about it several times but never wanted to make a decision on having another surgery. I don’t know if it was me not wanting to disappoint my surgeon? Or my subconscious not wanting to go through another surgery for obvious reasons. Maybe a little of both?!? I think I wanted my surgeon to say “Kim you need to have this done!”  but he isn’t in my body and does not experience what I deal with on a daily basis so he can’t make that choice for me. It was always going to have to be me and my decision. I just couldn’t do it. But now that I have my OBGYN saying “Kim you HAVE to have another surgery!” it is a very easy decision to have everything else fixed at once! My OB requested my normal surgeon in on my surgery regardless if he was operating or not just because of all the work that has been done so he was going to be in my operating room one way or another! Hopefully having everything done at once it will prevent me from having any issues in the future.

So Tuesday morning they will remove the large cystic mass and biopsy it, repair my hernia for 3rd time and remove my loop ileo and replace it with the end of my small intestine resulting in the collapse of the J Pouch they left built inside me. So it is a major surgery once again. They say 7-10 days in the hospital per usual but I always crush that and leave sooner! Recovery time will be 10-12 weeks.

“I will lift my eyes to things unseen
To the promise in Your victory
And I will build my life on the mystery
Of where You call me, and I will go
Into the unknown” -Unknown by Mosaic MSC

My Prayers-

That I would get to keep my ovaries. This would be a huge blessing for me right now. Going through menopause is not something I want to conquer in my 30’s. haha 🙂

That the growth and everything surrounding the cyst is benign. I am not even going to say the “C” word because I am going to continue to believe I am totally fine when it comes to this.

For my parents- Just to watch over them and give them the strength and the energy to process and get through this next phase. It kills me to have to watch them have to be the ones to hold my hand through each and every step of this journey.

 

 

So God is pretty incredible the way HE works just incase you all didn’t know this already. As I mentioned above I have seen my surgeon a couple times for the intestinal issue. The first time we were debating the surgery, part of the issue and time crunch was that my grant with Cedars was expiring. Well it expired. Also during this time my insurance changed. In January the plan I have had the last several years was completely expelled. A comparable plan was offered so it wasn’t that big of a deal at the time but slowly things started to pop up… My ostomy supplies being one of the major set backs. I went from having a zero co-pay being able to order any and everything I wanted to now not being covered on certain necessities and months of fighting just to get my normal supplies that are now costing up to 150$ a month. My co-pays on CT scans and ultra sounds ran me in the multiple hundreds this last couple months where I didn’t have these co-pays before. Lastly my medications for my psoriasis are just too much for me to afford right now.

So now let me tell you what God did…

First I got a donation last month when my scans and tests were going on where I had no idea how to make ends meet. The donation was enough to stay afloat but then within 30 minutes of posting a large item for sale online it sold at full asking. I no longer was down financially, I was even again. And after praying and praying I reapplied for the 5th time at Cedars Sinai for their financial grant program. It usually takes anywhere from 3-6 months to be approved or hear back… not only was I approved 100% again but I heard back in less than a weeks time!?! What? Mind Blown!!! And a week before my surgery was scheduled!!! This also means I can find a dermatologist at Cedars now for my psoriasis! This also means any future ultra sounds or CT scans are covered 100% My hospital stay, anesthesiologist all covered for this surgery! The only part not covered are my surgeons but that is normal. Even though they operate at Cedars they are private surgeons. But hey still a huge blessing and weight lifted! On top of that God gave me the patience to wait things out and not make a split decision. Had I jumped on the surgery back when I first wanted too here I would be having another one for the cyst and hernia. Now it will be all combined in one! Now that is something to celebrate!

 

IMG_5970(thats me in the front with my dear friend Cheri)

Then this last week God has just showered me with blessings. I feel like prayers of healing have been poured upon me. Prayers of spiritual gifts. Prayers of encouragement. I feel his love in everything. I was blessed with an unforgettable day at the Outcry Tour. I got to interact with the bands and hear them share, meet and connect with new people and hear their life stories and how they came to know Jesus. We broke off into groups and prayed for one another. Jenn Johnson from Bethel prayed over us for healing. Mariah McManus Goss from Mosaic MSC shared beautiful words of encouragement about our gifts and our unique creativity in everything we do because of that special relationship we have with Christ. I even was met in line before going in by the most beautiful soul who’s words resinated with me so deeply. She probably has no idea the impact she made on me. The night of worship was truly memorable, words can’t do it justice. Then just days before that I won tickets online to The Wiltern (a theatre in Hollywood) to see a band both my Dad and I love, Crowder! We happen to strike up a conversation with a man due to a pillow he was carrying. That man ended up being a local Chaplin near us but also having friends in common. Before I knew it he was on his knees in prayer for me right there in front of our seats. I am telling you music is my passion, it is what inspires me, gives me life and God continues to bless me despite my current situation with his LOVE both directly and indirectly through every aspect of this outlet. I am so grateful and so beyond excited to see what HE has in store.

God is showing up and in BIG BIG WAYS!!!

Thank you all for taking the time to read and catch up with me. I will try and send a short update sometime after surgery! Wishing you all a happy and healthy week ahead.

 

Your Name Can Not Be Overcome,

Kimberli West xoxo

http://www.kimskause.wordpress.com // christiangirlhere@gmail.com

For those who have inquired here is the link-

https://kimskause.wordpress.com/donate/

All I Need Is You…

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JESUS CHRIST IS LORD

   It has been 3 months to the day since my last blog. I sincerely apologize for the long gap of time that has gone by. It was never my intention. I think things started to take a turn for me shortly after my birthday in September. I wrote briefly about some of the issues in previous blogs but I started to feel as sick as I was back in the beginning. (like 6 years ago beginning) I have had a very difficult time.

I believe I left you all hanging as I was going to be seeing my surgeon and whether or not I was going to need another surgery after my stoma had prolapsed. So much has happened since then… I left that appointment feeling very defeated. When you have been sick as long as I have you look to your doctors for answers. When they are unable to give you direction it can make you feel lost. My surgeon basically left it up to me to make the decision if I wanted to have another surgery. Having the responsibility to make a decision like that is not something I wanted. Do I want another surgery? The answer is NO. Never again. The thought of alcohol scrubs before surgery prep alone makes my stomach sick. That isn’t the question though… It is do I need another surgery? He said only I know that answer because only I know how I feel and how uncomfortable I am.

During that visit my stoma (the intestine that sticks out of my stomach) had been prolapsing. So it had been coming out of my stomach. Now I can push it back in no problem but if it happens while in public or driving in a car or anywhere other than home… we have a big messy problem. One in which I don’t ever want to experience or deal with outside of the privacy of my own home! I also was experiencing days where nothing would empty into my ostomy bag and only come through as if still had a colon! This is only normal if it was a small amount of mucus or “spillage” as my surgeon would call it. That is not what was (still is) happening. Everything would be coming out that way some days. Like if I eat a salad I will see the entire salad exit my body. The issue with this for me is that some days, I have to deal with my ostomy where I am emptying my bag, changing my bag and of course always dealing with the showering issues. Then some days I am dealing with things as if I still had a J Pouch because of how it would release etc. because of this I get horrible cramping and urgency issues. Try eating at a restaurant or going to an outdoor event or planning anything with never knowing what the day will bring? Good luck packing a purse… I mean a BAG!!!

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I obviously decided to wait on surgery. I couldn’t imagine being in the hospital during the holidays. Plus I was going through a lot already and didn’t think emotionally I could handle it. So I have continued to push through. I am not sure if that was the right decision or not as I now have had a total prolapse. My ileo has prolapsed from the backside as well. It is much different this time around because it can’t come out all of the way because part of it is still attached at the stomach site. So when it falls from the back side it falls inside my stomach and then it will work its way down. Then it does the opposite thing to work its way back out to my stomach site and is “normal” again. Then some days it comes all the way out my stomach. Basically I have an alien living in my body right now. I still have yet to make the phone call to my surgeon letting him know of the latest. I am not quite ready for this next surgery. I know there is never a good time but I feel like as long as I can hold off I will try too. Before when it was my decision I didn’t like the responsibility but now that it is inevitable I don’t like that he is going to schedule it.

This blog will be a bit longer since I have a few months to go over so please bare with me… After being diagnosed with psoriasis I began having A LOT of issues. Originally I was given the normal things to treat it… shampoo and drops. At that time, it was mainly just on my scalp. Well when that started to burn me to the point I was crying every time I had to apply it I knew something wasn’t right?!? So I went back and this time was given an oil. This oil had to be applied to my whole head nightly and was as if I stuck my head in a jar of mayonnaise. I had to wear a shower cap to bed and put down towels on my pillows and wash my hair as soon as I woke up in the morning. It was not fun and also DID NOT work. Plus the psoriasis started spreading down my neck, face, shoulders and arms. Water seemed to make it so much worse. I would itch and burn after a shower to the point of tears. Plus the patches on my skin would become more swollen and red so I would not want to even go near water let alone a shower. Which made leaving the house very difficult. Finally they decided to treat me from the inside out and put me of medication. They also thought since stress causes outbreaks to be more intense that anti anxiety medicine would be a good idea. While they were at it they also took caffeine away from me. We all know my obsession with diet coke! So that was stopped cold turkey! Then they prescribed a migraine medication to top it all off. So bam 4 new medications all at once. Not fun!!!

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Not sure if you all read the side effects warnings when you pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy. They are usually listed on the outside paper stapled to your bag. I am one of those people who will not only experience a few of them but most likely all of them. Having my first surgery after being sick for so long was such a blessing for me back then because I was weened off over 32 pills a day. The side effects and things I went through are so hard to talk about. Sure I can list them or write them down on paper but to talk about them? Highly doubtful I could get away with that without becoming extremely emotional or even wanting to be that vulnerable.

“Oh, fear no evil
For I know You are here
And my soul will know Your love surrounds me when my thoughts wage war
When night screams terror, there Your voice will roar
Come death or shadow, God I know Your light will meet me there
And my soul will know When fear comes knocking, there You’ll be my guard
When day breeds trouble, there You’ll hold my heart
Come storm or battle, God I know Your peace will meet me there”  -Hillsong United Prince of Peace

So fast forward to now starting 4 new medications (strong medications) mixed together and all having major side effects. I had become a zombie. I sat in my room and just stared at my wall. I was lethargic, un-showered most days, unmotivated and for the most part mute. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I lost my appetite and 28 pounds. I cried for no reason at all. I had absolutely no energy. My bones felt like they were rubbing against each other all day every day. I was a mess. Medication has always been one of the hardest fights for me. I avoid it every chance I get but certain things have to be treated with it. Psoriasis is so incredibly painful and uncomfortable. Your body is literally covered in scabs and patches of blisters that are constantly burning, bleeding and itching. Nothing else was working for me so I had to go the medication route.

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Slowly I began to feel like I could do things again but I’d return home and feel like such a fool. I couldn’t form my sentences properly or I was too slow… I felt like I was so much work just to be around. But it got better each day and so has the psoriasis and it only took about 10 weeks. I am thrilled to say I only have one patch left on my arm. My head still has quite a few spots but that was the worst place I had it so I imagine that will take the longest to heal. I weened myself off the anti anxiety medicine recently and I am only taking the migraine medicine as needed now. So that has helped a lot!

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I had some pretty extensive blood work done the last couple weeks as well. I needed to just have an overall check up on everything but mainly we just can’t get my energy levels to stabilize. Almost everything came back really well with the exception of abnormal results to do with my kidneys? So we did further testing… I mean they did tests that were light-sensitive, ones that were on ice, ones that were covered in gel… I had over 30 tubes taken from me in 48 hours. It still showed abnormal results but I felt fine and showed no other symptoms then from the lab results. Well within a weeks time I was in unbelievable pain. Hunched over, could barely sit pain… So I had to go back for another test but then they thought it was more of a UTI. I have never had a UTI before so I trusted them even though I didn’t have any of the symptoms they listed. They started me on antibiotics. I was already a day in a half in on the antibiotics when they called and said that is NOT what it is and to stop taking the antibiotics immediately and make an appointment with your urologist ASAP. So I called my urologist who mind you normally takes weeks and weeks to get into and they fit me in on Monday? I called Friday afternoon! So that was pretty awesome because my pain level is still the same. So hopefully I will have some answers soon.

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So I saw my urologist today. She did several things. I had a catheter put in for one of the tests, did another culture sample, urine analysis, ultrasound and then a couple different types of exams. It wasn’t until the last exam when she found the issue. As she pressed down on a part of my bladder I began to cry. My bladder is inflamed, super tender and bleeding. With a full hysterectomy occasional bleeding where my cervix once was is okay but coming directly from my bladder raises concern. So she ordered several tests from the imaging center that I will do on Wednesday and we will go from there. She offered to prescribe me anything I needed to help with the pain but with all my allergies and last few months of side effects I am going to stick with Tylenol for now!

Sometimes I think about where I would be if I wasn’t sick. Where I would be working or what my life would be like? So much has changed. I went from my OCD shabby chic nothing ever out of place little house of my own to a single bedroom. A bedroom filled with eclectic, loved, mismatched gifts. Everywhere I turn my head a memory from the last 6 years. Absolutely nothing goes together yet my heart is beyond content. I went from dating men because I thought I was supposed to find a “husband.” Falling for the worldly lies of being single meaning there is something wrong with me to being happy and loving myself and knowing I am not ready to date or have a husband. Feeling content that if and when that time comes that God will let me know but not needing a man to boost my confidence or complete me in any way. It is so easy to get caught up in life. To keep up in life. To feel like you are missing out on life. People say “I’m so sorry,” to me all the time. Why? Why are you sorry? I am sorry. I am sorry that you do not know or have God in your life. See the thing I know is that God has had my life planned out from the beginning. I can sit and daydream all I want about the what ifs… but the truth is God already knows. I can fight his plan. I can continue to chase broken promises, fill empty voids and lies. Or I can embrace his everlasting joy, his perfect plan and purpose for me, his unconditional love and grace and continue to thank him daily for the life and breath he has given me. Being in this position in life allows me to rely on God daily! Literally every aspect of my life. I have no other option but to turn to him for everything.

6 years ago I thought my life was too busy. 6 years ago I didn’t make the right kind of time for God. I thought I could do it all with God just placed on the side. When you realize that HE IS ALL YOU NEED life works! Everything works no matter what the circumstances are. That fancy car or big bank account become a distant memory. That designer bag you used to carry becomes so pointless. Your goals turn from being about yourself to wanting to help and do things for others. Material things and appearances which were once so important are now replaced with hand-made, heart-felt, natural love. I am so much happier now than I have ever ever been. How is that even possible? I know. Let me just tell you… the suffering I experience now on a daily basis doesn’t even compare to the suffering I had before fully knowing Jesus Christ. With God all things truly are possible. THEY ARE because HE gives us HOPE! It is the reason I get up in the morning. He is ALL I NEED.

My prayer today is that if you have never encountered the love of God that you would get to experience it. There are so many people hurting, so so many. The amount of fear, heart ache, devastation and death that surrounds us… HE literally is right there his arms are open wanting you to reach out! I think about my life and if there is anything that I want, it is for my family and friends to be in heaven with me. I want that more than anything and for everyone. Life is so precious and so temporary. Eternity is what matters. Salvation is everything.

“Here I lay my life down
To be found, found in You
Here I empty myself
To be filled, again with You 

Over and over again
Over and over again 

You are, the strength of my heart
Forever I’ll run, again to Your love
You are, the strength of my heart
Forever my God, Your love is enough”

-Forever I Run by Elevation Worship
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All For Him,
Kimberli West XOXO
Christiangirlhere@gmail.com

Caught In Your Infinite Embrace

Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.-Deuteronomy 32:2
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   At my old church there was the sweetest little girl who sat in front of me every Sunday. She was beautiful, always with a smile on her face and a little giggle as you waived at her or said hello. She was special not only to all of us but to God as well as he decided to bring her home at such a young age. Whenever I am having a really tough day or a hard cry I picture her sweet little innocent face, her love for the Lord and her arms raised as high as she could get them during our worship services. I know those little arms are still raised now. I know she is singing her little heart out doing what she so loved to do. I know that her contagious smile and joy is now everlasting. The thought of that alone makes my heart explode.

   I think I wanted to start off by sharing that special memory because I have had numerous tough days and hard cries lately. Life has not let up just yet. But I assure you all I still find those special moments and those joyous memories to help uplift me and my spirits despite it all.

I guess I will start where I left you guys a few blogs back. Where my head was covered in those open lesions and my hair was falling out. Well it has been a little over two months now and it is still happening. I believe I gave a small update to that on social media but not here on my site. I have been diagnosed with psoriasis. It has spread down my shoulders and arms and a few spots on my neck. For those that do not know or understand what psoriasis is… it is painful! It causes hair loss, itching, pain and bleeding. It leaves open wounds and bright red blotches that continue to spread and get bigger and bigger. I am on several medications for this now… a shampoo, an oil, a lotion, drops and a pill.

IMG_4788.JPGI decided to show you some of the less invasive ones… but you can see how the skin sheds and the sores that are then left. My head is covered in these.

   Now if that isn’t fun enough a few weeks ago I got up out of my bed and blood was gushing down my legs. Having no uterus this was not only really scary but also definitely  not a good thing. With no real explanation as to where the blood would be coming from I chose to wait it out. The bleeding lasted a good 24 hours but did get less and less over time. It eventually turned into clotting and then stopped all together. Why didn’t I go to the ER? I will tell you. Unless I have a broken limb hanging out of my body I will avoid that place at all costs. I can’t take pain meds which they will push on you. I will not let any doctors touch me that don’t know my history or have actually worked with me. Plus it was a weekend and there was no way I was going to sit in a germ infested waiting room for 8 hours. Most importantly we had a family reunion that weekend and I didn’t want to miss it nor did I want my parents to miss it. I know my body well enough to know that I was ok to get through the weekend! Plus I have the most amazing doctors and team who squeezed me in first thing Monday morning so I knew I would be ok till then.

   Monday came and I headed into Cedars. The bleeding was long gone at this point but we still did extensive testing. What we found came as a bit of a shock! Where my uterus used to be was heavy thick fluid, so much so that we couldn’t even get a clear view of the left side. Which I should add was so painful to even touch I was crying (and we all know I am pretty tough when it comes to pain) We also found I have two cysts on the right side. I will be going back in mid November to see if we can get a better view of the left side and if the cysts have changed in size at all. The prayer would be that they do not grow at all and that the fluid thins out on its own so that this doesn’t require surgery. I will say that since this occurrence I have had multiple “accidents.” Without any given warning my pants will just be soaked with fluid. My doctors are on top of the situation and we are closely monitoring it all.

“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. -Exodus 15:2

  Did you think that was all? haha… Come on guys it’s me! So then this week my small intestine prolapsed out of my stomach!!! Like full on came out like a slug down my belly! Again on a weekend of course! What luck!?! I was not gonna go to the ER especially for something like this!!! So I manually pushed it back inside my stomach. My ostomy bag literally exploded from the weight of my intestine. I climbed into my shower covered in my own stool calling out for my Mom to please come and help me. Being that it was past midnight it took awhile for her to wake up and get to me but she did eventually. It took us over an hour to work it back inside my stomach and to get me and everything all cleaned up. But we did! God bless her and her patience. My intestine now sticks out about 4 inches. It is so weird for me to feel it out this far. It has never been like this before but it is a lot better then the elephant trunk that was out before!

FullSizeRender This is how it looks now AFTER pushing it back inside. Picture it out about 4x further than this and so much fatter. I joked and said it looked like Slimmer from Ghostbusters!!! 🙂

   My surgeon says as long as it doesn’t continue to come out that far it should be ok for now. The main issue at hand is I am going days at a time where nothing goes into my ostomy bag. I will pass everything as if I still had a J pouch. (rectally) The J pouch being disconnected means that the stool is bypassing my bag all together and spilling over. This is not good. A little every once in awhile is ok or a little mucus is normal but what is going on with me is not normal. We have a sit down with my surgeon in two weeks to discuss the possibility of surgery. What he would do is make my current loop ileostomy an end ileostomy. This basically means undoing the loop and making the intestine straight and cutting a new piece of intestine at the bottom and disassembling the J pouch all together. Normally we would put this off and I could live with it for awhile and see if things improved on their own. Our biggest dilemma is my 100% grant with Cedars expires December 15th. My insurance also changes December 31st. Therefore if we decide to do the surgery it will be very soon. Let me make it clear that I in no way, shape or form want to have another surgery. I just need to look at it from at practical stance right now. Finances play a huge role in my health care. Having this grant is one of the greatest blessings we have received. So my Dad, my Surgeon and I are all gonna sit down and discuss it. We will weigh out the pros and cons and collectively come to a decision.

In the meantime I’ve had some pretty bad back and leg pain. Instead of getting better it has gotten worse. There has been several days that I haven’t been able to walk. My parents have had to help me get dressed, put shoes on… talk about humbling. I even got stuck in the bathtub! I have vomited from the pain. I have passed out from the pain. It has been so bad I have resorted to medication. Those that know me know I do not like to take things, ever! My migraines have also set in on the same side as the leg and back pain. When this has happened previously it has always meant a prolapse was on the horizon. I just pray that something bigger isn’t in the works and that what I am currently dealing with is enough for now!

 IMG_5189Starting all over again on the meds… My daily regiment for the next couple months! 

   Being sick is hard for so many reasons. I don’t think people always understand what we go through. Nobody wants to be sick. Nobody chooses to be sick. For me seeing what it does to my parents is the hardest part for me. What grown adult wants to constantly worry their parents. It kills me. Six years is such a long time to be in this position. Some days I feel like a leper. When people stop inviting you to things it is hard. When more strangers are reading your blogs then friends and family that is hard. 57 countries I have reached and steadily! That is incredible, absolutely mind blowing… and I am so incredibly grateful! I love each and every one of my followers and readers. But it can be hurtful when your own friends and family on your direct email list have no clue what your latest update is. Whether they choose not to read your blog or just don’t have time. Being taken off prayer chain lists? Maybe because my time limit is up? Or how about becoming a liability in making plans. Not wanting to take the risk in taking me somewhere incase something happens while we are out. Losing friends and people I’d thought I would have known and had in my life forever. Not only do you deal with the physical aliments of being sick but you deal with the life aliments as well. They can be just as hard if not harder.

“say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
    he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
    he will come to save you.” -Isaiah 35:4

   The thing is I have grown to understand all of these things. I don’t blame anyone for any of them. I get it. Life happens and priorities change. I don’t expect anyone to sit around and wait for me to get better. I don’t write these things for people to feel sorry for me in fact, it is the exact opposite. My hope in sharing these things is that there is someone out there that may be experiencing something similar. (well I don’t hope that but if there is…) I want them to know first and foremost that you are never alone, ever. I know it may feel like it, a lot. I know there are days the emotional pain is so much worse than the physical pain. I know there are days the enemy slips his twisted head into our thoughts and uses all his strength to try and convince us otherwise. The biggest battle can be more within ourselves and not getting sucked into that evil way of thinking. I have lost three friends to suicide during the six years I have been sick. These were friends who also were sick and had similar health backgrounds to mine. It is so important for me to help spread the hope in Jesus Christ and the joy in suffering.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has
given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,
 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. -1 Peter 1:3-6

  We can’t live our lives in fear. We can’t become “complacent” or be made to feel this way. God is in control of you, of me, of LIFE! He gives us the breath we breathe. There is joy in every single day and every situation when you have the holy spirit in your heart. I am so lucky to know God. I am so lucky to have him on those extra lonely days! To be able to talk to him, to confide in him and to cry out to him. He is so good and so faithful and so fulfilling. I can’t imagine my life without God and the foundation on which we stand together. There are so so many who don’t know him and that absolutely shatters my heart. He wants to know you. He wants a relationship with you…. so so much more than you know! He is hope. He is comfort. He is peace. He is EVERYTHING.

 and HE LOVES YOU…

 

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Please check out my buddy Channel Dixon’s amazing clothing line! It’s clothing with a purpose! These beanies are new and flying off the shelves…  So many great items to choose from with an intentional and God filled message! His heart is huge and his love for the Lord is even greater!

https://artofhomage.com

All For Him,
Kimberli West xoxo
christiangirlhere@gmail.com

 

IG- gorgeouscaos   Twitter-Kimmiekoett

Humility.

 

I find it so beautiful that I never know where my blog will lead me when I begin to write. I have an idea of what I want to share but I never fully know where God is leading me. Sometimes I read previous blogs back to myself and just can’t believe what God has allowed me to share. I am definitely not the same person I was 6 years ago. For that I am truly grateful.

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I think sometimes it is hard for me to admit things. I want everyone to think I am doing great despite what may really be going on. I am that positive person, that rock for others to lean on, the one who conquers everything in my way. I don’t want that image in peoples head to change of me. I think this is where HUMILITY comes into place. I haven’t wanted to share lately, not because I am embarrassed but maybe because I feel more ashamed of where I am in life, that I am not further along. Humility. I am and have been suffering with what has now been diagnosed as PTSD. I don’t even understand it really? I am NOT depressed. I don’t have bad thoughts running through my head. Nothing like that. I just am an emotional, terrified mess. I smell alcohol swabs and begin to cry. Memories being brought back from my nurses each time they enter the room washing their hands… Then my mind just starts to spiral. I see children/ babies everywhere I go, or even in my own home on TV or social media and I lose it. Like a broken down ugly crying mess. The void of knowing I’ll never be able to experience that sends me into a panicked state. I think when you are fighting so hard for your health and you’re in the thick of things you do what you have to in order to get to the next step. You never really weigh the consequences that come later because the now is so important. I always have said I can’t look too far back or even a day ahead because I get so completely overwhelmed by it. I have had a break from the hospital for a little while now and I think my mind has caught up with heart. I never really allowed myself to grieve. My body is now taking over on it’s own. It has been very difficult for me.

“Peace be still
You are here so it is well
Even when my eyes can’t see, I will trust the voice that speaks
Peace, peace
Over me
Peace, peace
Over me
We don’t have to fear, we don’t have to worry
‘Cause He is good, all the time”

-The Belonging Co “Peace Be Still” featuring Lauren Daigle (All the Earth)

   To admit that my life is not exemplary is a humble admission — not because I’m such a humble person, but because the admission is true. Humility is not a human emotion or demeanor; it’s simply the lack of pretense. Humility is the acceptance and honest confession of what is actually true. So my admission is humble, as far as it goes.

Written by Jon Bloom

   I have really had to search my soul. I needed to make sure it wasn’t pride keeping me from sharing. I have prayed every night that God would allow me to be vulnerable in this area of life. This last week, he finally gave me the strength to talk to my Mom about it. I was literally trembling in fear she would be disappointed with me. Instead it was the exact opposite. Her heart hurt for me and she couldn’t have been more loving or supportive. Humility. The word was everywhere, in everything I read or heard. I realized I have been keeping my truths hidden for my own reasons and in doing so I have robbed others of helping me through it. I have been covering my own hurt to avoid being more vulnerable or letting others down. Comments like “Oh, you can always adopt” My heart knows that they mean well and that they are just trying to comfort me but it is so hard to hear. People saying, “you look great despite what you have been through.” It kills me. “What are you gonna do with your life? When are you going to start working again?” I am not sure people understand or realize it has been 6 years of non stop fighting. Not just one surgery and one recovery but 11 and in a row!!! That combined with numerous procedures, medications, infusions, transfusions, losing my vision, seizures, a mini stroke, not being able to walk… My body literally cannot keep up. PTSD is a lot of things but it is always related back to some kind of trauma. I have never looked at my life as traumatic but that is exactly what it is and has been. So it does make sense. I need this time to heal and process it all.

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I think it is hard sometimes because I look okay on the outside and people don’t understand how I am really feeling. It is so hard for me to make plans and keep them. This is something I deal with on a daily basis. I hate to disappoint people. I hate to change or cancel plans. I have great anxiety about dates especially as they approach. It has been explained to me that it is a natural feeling for someone who has had so many unexpected things occur in life. It may be natural in a life sense but it is the most unnatural feeling to me personally. Then there is guilt. People see that I attended a concert, or went out to eat, so the question is then raised, why can’t she do this? or that? People see what I want them to see. They don’t see the repercussions of my actions and choices.

When I attend a concert, I am not able to stand for long periods of time. I have to go to the restroom constantly and miss out on parts of the music. If it is a public restroom and not just a single stall (like a family one, etc.) sometimes I will be in there 20 minutes out of fear. Facing the wrong direction of the toilet to empty my bag, having to wash my bag out with water then add new odor packets, etc. Flushing the toilet numerous times. I go very very seldom places that don’t have a single stall restroom where it is just me and me alone. I know my town and the restaurants that are “safe” and not “safe.” I am so nervous of anything happening while away from home… I rarely stray away from my parents side and a lot of times have taken xanax just to be out and about. I always have extra ostomy supplies, a list of my medical conditions and medications, extra clothes, any and everything I can think of in my purse or the car. I don’t have my own car so I always have to rely on somebody else then hope to not ruin their time. I’ll give you an example- I attended a concert recently where (I as a grown adult) had a full on panic attack. My vision went blurry (my brain immediately going to losing my vision) and we were sitting high up. I shouldn’t even say sitting because as soon as I started down the stairs it began and I turned around and booked it back to the top. I never even made it to my seat. I was crying and sitting on a chair in the hallway with the paramedic team there on duty. It was a sold out show and they ended up having to put me behind the stage so I could still hear the music but not see it. It was beyond mortifying. I don’t talk about those things though. I don’t tell you that I can’t move for 2 or 3 days after because my legs and arms are so sore from the being out. I keep those things inside and just show you all my smiles and joy from the event. Life just continues and so I move on.

“It’s the power of Your presence that changes us
Your glory all around us and we’re undone
You open up the heavens and fall afresh on us”

-“Fall Afresh” (Kari Jobe or Sarah Reeves version)

   God continues to remind me HE is the only one that will ever be in control of my life. I think sometimes I still try and there is that constant reminder that it will never happen. It will always be him. When I first got sick the hardest part for me was slowing down. In doing this though is where I truly found God. I used to attend church, bible study, community group, I worked full time and still made time daily for friends and family. The whole “you only live once mantra or you can sleep when you’re dead.” It was made very clear to me back then going through the motions of things, the daily rituals and schedules aren’t what makes or helps you grow. It is the authenticity in your actions and the devotion you have in doing each thing. Getting sick helped me realize that alone time with God is everything. That with him I can get through anything. So I am going to take a step back. I am going to focus on him and only him and allow him to work in me, to heal my heart and fill those voids I am feeling. Life is after all for God not for our own purpose or pleasures. It moves at his pace not our own. So my hands are off the wheel once again. I am not going to plan anything ahead right now. I can’t make plans. I need this time to heal. I am going to take each day as it comes. I apologize to those of you that feel like I am being selfish or if I have let you down. That is definitely not my intention. I just want to make sure that when we have our time together that it is real time. My emotional battle has become just as hard as my physical one. I know all things are possible with God, so I am not worried.

“My God
Making all things new
Everything turning
From ruin to life in You
Making all things new
Everything turning to something so beautiful”

“Rain/ Reign” -Hillsong United

   So last Thursday was my Birthday. I wanted to just take a second and thank everyone who has been and is still in my life. Thank you for being a part of my beautiful story. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for helping me get through this time in my life. I truly have never been more grateful for anything in my life. (besides my salvation) I am going to update on my health next blog as I have written enough for you and me both now. Love to you all and so much appreciation for allowing me to be real. HUMILITY.

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. -Hebrews 12 :1-2

 

All For Him,

Kimberli West xoxo

christiangirlhere@gmail.com/ http://www.kimskause.wordpress.com

PS- if you all haven’t heard the new album “ALL THE EARTH” by the Belonging Co, you need to download it asap! Each song is better than the next! So powerful and beautiful. So many great artists…

Let’s Play Catch Up…

For those of you who are new here… let’s play catch up! My name is Kimberli West. I am a 36 year old, God Fearing, Single Gal from Southern California! In 2012 I was diagnosed with Severe Ulcerative Colitis. What I thought at the time was this was something that could be controlled by medication but here I am almost 6 years later and 11 major surgeries still fighting. Let me breakdown the years for you below…

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This Is ME

2012/2013- My skin had gone from yellow to a bright white. My eyes had circles so dark I looked like a zombie… literally! My hair became thin and broken and my skin was dry and peeling. My parents took me to the ER where I collapsed on the floor. My hemoglobin was a 4.5. For those who understand what a hemoglobin is this is beyond low. I was told the only reason I was still alive was because I had lost the blood gradually but had I lost that amount at one time I wouldn’t be here today. That night and following day I received my first of many blood transfusions. I also had daily iron infusions which began almost immediately. Once my body was strong enough I went through a series of tests resulting in the diagnosis of severe Ulcerative Colitis. It was considered severe because over 85% of my colon/ large intestine was infected. My GI at the time wanted to start medication right away to try and salvage what was left of my organs and to try and throw me into remission. Kind of a grace period to figure out the next step. Well that turned out horribly. One medication would start something new, followed by another to combat those symptoms and so on and so on. At one point I was taking 31 pills a day during this process.

My Personal Pharmacy (31 pills and vitamins at one point)
My Personal Pharmacy

But if that wasn’t bad enough… the side effects I began having were horrific. Seizures, loss of vision (like could not see at all), my muscles swelling up to the point my joints couldn’t bend or move, pancreatitis, rashes, thrush. The list goes on and on. Hair loss, weight gain, weight loss, mood swings, night sweats, teeth issues. There were days I couldn’t walk let alone move, my parents would have to carry me to the bathroom! I ended up with a walker for over six months, losing my license and receiving a handicap pass! I couldn’t believe this was my life. Iron infusions 4x a week, physical therapy, colonoscopies every 3 months, endoscopies, camera swallowing and needing help doing any and everything… my quality of life was slipping away.  I also then was diagnosed with inflammatory joint disease and chronic anemia. I lost my place of living, my job, blew through my savings, sold ALL my belongings to make medical bills (furniture, car, everything.) I ended up moving in with my parents for what we thought would be temporary but as I said above I am still in the thick of it. So finally I was referred to a surgeon down at Cedars Sinai. Within 5 minutes he said I need my colon/ large intestine removed. I was at an 90% risk of colon cancer within the next year if not!

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Losing My Hair, Black Eyes and Horrible Skin

So I started this year off with my colon/ large intestine, appendix, rectum, rectal cuff and rectal stump all coming out. I now had an ostomy bag. I also had a uterine oblation during this year due to fibroids and uncontrollable bleeding. With my issues bleeding was a HUGE deal so we wiped out any chance of me ever having kids along with this decision. I then had my 3rd surgery where I had my J Pouch created but not connected yet. A J Pouch is made up of the small intestine. They stretch it down to form a J and eventually sew it directly to the anus so I can be rid of the ostomy bag. (but they don’t connect it in this surgery so I still have a bag) At the same time as this surgery they gave me my second bag, this time it is a loop ileostomy. I had gained a lot of weight do to steroids since first getting sick so I was placed on an all liquid diet for 90 days. It was doctor supervised but they wanted the weight off before my 4th surgery. The flatter my stomach the better my J Pouch would do! (didn’t have to stretch as far) Well the diet worked!!! I lost a large amount of weight. So I then had what was supposed to be my final surgery. They reversed my ostomy bag and connected my J Pouch to my anus. Things didn’t get better though. I wasn’t able to eat really anything. I lived on plain chicken and white rice for over 6 months. I developed internal hemorrhoids which had to be treated with injections every two weeks.

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Injections every two weeks inside my intestine

I got to begin this year with an enlarged liver due to long term medication use. My teeth decaying, lots of dental work. (same reason) and diagnosed with Inflammatory Joint Disease. I was in and out of the hospital for reoccurring pancreatitis, seizures and obstructions. It was then I had my 1st ileo anal prolapse. This was detected by doing what is known as a pouchoscopy and exploratory surgery. (surgery #5) I was put to sleep and then they are able to go in and view the inside of my pouch. A prolapse is when the intestine drops out of place. It would come out of my rear every time I used the bathroom then retract back once finished. I then had my 6th surgery to fix this issue. They did what is known as the Delorme procedure. It is an accordion like stitch through the rear opening to try and keep the intestine from falling again. This held for about 8 weeks but I then had my 2nd ileo anal prolapse. This time we went into surgery with a different method! They cut my stomach open and sewed my intestine to my tailbone. I also had developed a hernia  at my old ostomy site and this was repaired then as well. They used a bio mesh to fix this issue. (surgeries 7 & 8) Keep in mind each recovery from surgery is a minimum of 8-12 weeks. Plus I am severely allergic to pain medication! I do my surgeries with just tylenol and xanax. Yes, thats right no pain meds at all.

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My Scars

My 3rd ileo anal prolapse occurs. We go in for my next surgery same as previous one. We sew it back down to my tailbone. (surgery #9) We also get results that my body doesn’t produce scar tissue. this is the reason it isn’t holding. In the meantime my surgeon meets with the top 400 colorectal surgeons in the country and he discusses my case amongst them. Should we give it another go if it falls again? Should I go with a permanent ostomy at this point. Well it was a divided decision because of my age and my resilience in bouncing back after surgeries. So 12 weeks later I have my 4th ileo anal prolapse. Now is the time to make this choice. So my surgeon flies to Singapore. He meets with a surgeon there and discovers a different method we haven’t tried yet! So he has these special pins flown over from Singapore. I am the first American to ever have this procedure done. We have to get special permission from the hospital to even have it done. They drill holes into my sacrum (the actual bone) to hold my intestine in place this surgery! (surgery #10) We had to bring in a orthopedic surgeon for this part of the surgery. I also have a bladder and a urethra prolapse at this time. So a Urologist joins the team now as well. I have stents placed in my urethra, a full female anatomy lift and mesh graph to hold things in place. We think this will be the answer! I make it past the 12 week mark and am finally allowed to start doing things again. I got my drivers license back, I am using the treadmill, just enjoying life. I am finally able to eat more and more things. Things are great for the first time in a long time. Then out of nowhere I have a mini stroke. I am hospitalized, put on blood thinners and back on steroids. I am back to physical therapy, now speech therapy and recovery from this episode.

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Life In The Hospital

I have my 5th ileo anal prolapse. My bladder drops again. It is inevitable my organs are just not going to hold. So my next surgery is a full hysterectomy. We remove my uterus, my cervix basically anything that could fall out! They tighten my pelvic wall and make a sling for my bladder to sit in. I have my J Pouch disconnected and go back to a permanent ostomy bag. (surgery #11) I then develop another hernia as well as massive issues with holding my bladder, etc. I begin physical therapy to help strengthen my muscles down below and await my next surgery which will be to help this issue, as well as, a small tuck since my bladder is once again out of place. So surgery 12 is done now what started out being something small ended up being pretty major. I had my hernia repaired again… This is the 3rd hernia that has popped out behind my ostomy site, then I had my stoma (a piece of my small intestine) re cut and a new loop made to create for my ileostomy and then I had a huge cyst removed. So I know have my colorectal surgeon, a urologist, my OBGYN and an orthopedic surgeon all on my team.

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Ostomy Life

I have since been diagnosed with both psoriasis and eczema. My skin issues have been really sensitive and brought out by the stress of everything going on. I tend to flare up more when I am in recovery. The good news is I now have a fantastic doctor treating me for these. The latest in my fight is I am being seen for some things for my spine. I should know some more in the next coming weeks on this….

I started my blog back when I first got sick. Originally it was to help me get over the topics of my health issues. Using words to describe my feelings worked much better than trying to speak them. After awhile I found it therapeutic and almost as a sense of release with everything going on with me. I used to have a different blog site but the site crashed one day and never came back. Thankfully my cousin had backed most of my work up but transferring it over is something I have yet to do. It is A LOT! So if you are new to my blog and wondering where all the other pages are… they are still saved in my computer! I will get them over one of these days.

My blog has evolved quite a bit over the years though… It went from being about me and my health to how God has blessed me continually through this process. I not only have found the joy in suffering but want to share it with the entire world. I am so honored to be a part of God’s plan, that HE chose me to live out this purpose for him. I am definitely not a victim, I am a warrior in God’s army. You won’t find me having a pity party only a celebration of life and all that comes with it!

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Love You All!

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time out of your day to read about me and my journey! I so appreciate you and am thankful God connected us!

All For Him,

Kimberli West xo

christiangirlhere@gmail.com / http://www.kimskause.wordpress.com

I Got A Song That Will Never Die…

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I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ -Ephesians 3:16-18

My life is forever changed… not because my favorite band of all time showed up in my living room, not because I had private worship time with them, not even because they surprised me with my favorite artist who drove all the way down from San Fransisco but because ALL OF THE GLORY WAS FOR JESUS!!!! My heart exploded with emotions I haven’t ever felt before. God’s presence was undeniable, goosebumps style. It filled my home with a joy thats indescribable.

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Matty, JD and Taya  -Hillsong United  xoxo

A film crew showed up at my door sent by the selfless manager of Hillsong United who mind you put this entire thing together. They allowed me to share my testimony in hopes even one person could be reached by my journey. As I was sharing in walked some of the members of the band. I was an absolute mess! Let me tell you guys- They are the real deal. Heart Felt, Spirit Filled, Generous Sons and Daughters of Christ. It was as if we were having family over we had known for years. Comfort and Peace is a daily prayer of mine and this is exactly how I would describe the enviornment. Speaking truths and sharing stories my world was wrecked.

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Sharing my Testimony

Music, lyrics, scripture… This is what motivates me on a daily basis. Having this worship time up close and personal with them was mind blowing for me. With Taya singing “Not Today” https://youtu.be/tm0_JkT0wSs her becoming emotional and seeing the love for the Lord she has I was already balling but then they began to sing Amazing Grace (Broken Vessels) I moved across the room to my Grandma and just wept in her arms.

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Amazing Grace- Broken Vessels

“Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see
Oh I can see you now
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life”

I myself can’t sing or carry a note for the life of me. I don’t play an instrument. You could say I am musically challenged. But where I connect is the passion and drive behind the creation of a lyric let alone put together to create an entire song. Gods gifts to each and every one of us are so different but so connected. That is why I believe in my heart it is so important to share our gifts. Music creates a safe place for me and my heart. It allows me to be vulnerable and express my emotions. God gave this gift to me. He gave me a heart for music and an understanding of what it brings to life. Going through my 11 surgeries unable to take pain medication God provided this outlet for me.

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I am beyond thankful for these amazing people. Giving up time spent with their loved ones for the greater purpose. Our salvation. I have never been to a concert where they haven’t shared the gospel, where they haven’t invited us to accept God into our hearts, where they haven’t taught us about love, sacrifice and surrendering. They love each and every one of us so much that they selflessly give their time to us! What about their families? Unconditional Love as well! To be supportive of something so special and to understand how God is using them to change and transform lives. It isn’t just a song or another band it’s life changing things that are taking place. Words cannot even express the appreciation and thankfulness in my heart that they then went the extra mile to give me a special day. Blessed, Humbled, God Orchestrated… I mean Speechless.

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My Parents, My Grandma, Hillsong United, Brian Mede and the Beautiful Cheri Beltramo.

If that wasn’t enough they then surprised me with Brian Mede. Who drove all the way down from San Fransisco to present me with the most beautiful picture I have ever seen. Picking out every scripture himself, each one with special thought and prayer. Reminding me of the love God has for me every time I view this incredible piece. Sharing his heart, his gift and his generous time and talent just for me?!?

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Brian Mede Sharing His Heart

 http://www.brianmede.com

I then got to attend their pop up show in Hollywood the same evening. Where I was once again greeted with grace and love. Meeting members of the band that weren’t able to attend my home invasion and even being allowed backstage for their before show prayer. Ending the show with the band asking everyone to lay hands on me as they prayed a prayer of healing. I couldn’t contain my emotions and was once again overwhelmed with tears. Even now as I write you all, my face is soaked with a memory that will forever be planted in my head.

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I even got to FaceTime with Joel who wasn’t in town during this experience.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. -Romans 12:6-8

Having the ones who inspire me the most encouraging me to continue to share my own gifts is a pretty incredible experience. My prayer is and has always been to spread the JOY IN SUFFERING. Maybe this is how? My blog and speaking my own truths? Maybe God will lead me in a different direction… Who knows what tomorrow holds? What I do know is how real the joy is and if even one person is reached by my journey then this pain and suffering I have endured is worth every moment. I don’t know about you but I will proudly stand and follow Jesus wherever he may lead me.

 

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joetermini.com

Joe Termini took this shot while in Rome… (I believe it is of the old coliseum) This photo has been my background screen on my phone for awhile now. To me personally it spoke a renewal of life. I view it as myself broken but restored through Gods sacrifice. Joe just happened to be the photographer that showed up with the band at my home!!!! When I showed him my phone he generously offered me a copy of this photo! Is that unreal? My favorite band, artist and photographer in one room to encourage and lift MY spirits. If this day wasn’t God ordained I don’t know what is!

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Taya and Me

I will admit that when I think of myself it is average at most. I am not one to post videos of myself or go out of my way to expose my insecurities. When I made my video for Hillsong United’s #WONDERINTHEWILD challenge I tried to send it privately to them. Due to reasons of social media settings I had to make my page public in order for them to view it. I honestly almost didn’t do it figuring the chances they may actually see it were slim to none. But I felt this little nudge saying give it shot so I did.  Scrolling through the tons of videos made (some even professionally done and posted over and over 10x a day) I never in a billion years thought they would choose mine… BUT THEY DID!!! It just proved to me once again that God will take the reigns when you let go and love yourself. Dropping my guard and laying it on the table. I really do have everything in HIM.

Love just means Love…

In Everlasting Grace and Wonder…

Kimberli West

christiangirlhere@gmail.com / http://www.kimskause.wordpress.com / https://hillsong.com

Thank you from the bottom of my grateful heart xoxo

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Matty and his “Wonder” cookie