A Health Update: God is Good - All the Time!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Yesterday I had a bad day.  A long 5 hour car ride and doing more than I should sent me to bed early.  I didn't sleep.  I laid in bed and listened to U2 .  .  .  I know, not relaxing to most people, but it was just what I needed to lift my spirits a bit.  

So, today I feel I should update you on what's been going on with me.  I'm going to give you the Reader's Digest condensed version.

Since January, I've been experiencing numbness in my lower extremities.  It started as tingling and numbness in my toes and slowly over time has spread upwards.  I am currently numb from the chest down.  It feels like when you have Novacaine at the dentist, except it's not just in my cheek!   I've also had a few falls and I'm overall unsteady.  A few weeks ago I had an MRI which revealed the source of all of this - I have a tumor in my thoracic spine between my shoulder blades, that is almost completely crushing my spinal cord in one spot.  It is likely NOT cancer - and that is what had caused me so much concern when I first found out I had a tumor.  

However, even if it is cancerous, it's very slow growing and it can be taken care of.   I saw a neurosurgeon who told me that he couldn't believe that I was actually walking on my own and really should be in a wheelchair - completely paralyzed for life.   He said if this had come on all at once - that is where I would be.  Because it has been slow growing and I've likely had it for years, my body has adjusted to it.  And, even though I'm so numb, he was amazed at how well I was doing.  

But, he gave me a serious talking to about taking it easy and taking care not to do anything that would impact this tumor, because it could be life changing.  That's hard for someone like me to take - I'm a doer.  I have lists, projects .  .  .  but, they have to be put on hold.  Fall decorating is partly done, and it will stay that way.  I've been putting my energies into my son's wedding, which is this coming Friday (I can't believe it).  I'm still doing most of the things I wanted to do, but much slower and without a lot of bending and no lifting.  

I can't say how thankful I am for my friends and family - and that also includes you - my blogging friends, for your prayers and warm wishes.  My close friends and family were quick to cheer and encourage me - bringing my family delicious meals and treats, cleaning my house (I should get sick more often -  ha, ha!!) and taking charge of the wedding rehearsal dinner!   I'm blessed!  

My surgery is scheduled for November 5 in the morning and I would so appreciate your prayers.  I know many people are already praying for me because I can feel it.  And, God has shown his hand in some amazing ways already and I want to share some of those things with you too.

I had been given the appointment to see the neurosurgeon from my family doctor and I fully expected to go and find out that they would zap this little tumor with a laser and that would be it!  I didn't think it was going to be anything serious.  My husband is a hard worker who never misses work!   Early in the morning (like 3 a.m. early) he rolled over in bed and said, "I'm coming to your appointment with you"!  Half asleep, I couldn't believe my ears and said "Why?  I'm fine, it's fine .  .  .  "  He said, "No, I feel I need to be there".  I'm so glad he was.  It was a long appointment full of detail about a very complicated 6 hour surgical procedure that was super scary for me and him - but it was good to have him there to hear everything from the neurosurgeon, because I was a little bit dazed at the end of it all.  That was totally God speaking to him.

The day after my appointment I went out to pick up a few things at Walmart - I'm really supposed to keep my driving to a minimum, but I was feeling some rebellion and needed to get out of the house!  So, on my way there, I was at a stop sign and looked up to see this bumper sticker on the car in front of me.  I never look at people's bumper stickers?  But, that morning this one just jumped out at me! 

And, today when my husband told me to stay home in bed instead of going to church, I did.  I had a restless night and actually ended up falling asleep on the couch.  I woke up at 7 a.m. and climbed into my warm bed and finally woke up at 11 a.m. - I know, that's crazy!  When I woke up, I felt much better than yesterday - still numb, but pretty much my baseline.  Last night, I was having a hard time walking and even harder time climbing the stairs.  I knew my husband had been worried, so even though I knew he was at church, I texted him to tell him that I was up and feeling pretty good.  He immediately texted me back to tell me that my pastor and church family had just finished praying for me five minutes earlier!  I wrote back - God is Good!  And, he is - all the time!

This week is wedding week and I'm so looking forward to all the festivities.  I'm going to take it easy and let others do things for me - even though that's hard for me to do!  Hopefully I will be back next week to share some photos with you.  Then, I'm going to rest up for my surgery on November 5.  If the procedure goes well, I could be home and on the mend the same week - so please pray to that end!  Like I said earlier, it's a very complicated procedure, but I have a good surgeon and feel I'm in good hands.  Thanks so much for your friendship and your prayers!

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Some News and Find Your Voice Friday Features

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hi, Friends.  I've been absent here now for nearly a week and I hope you've been wondering where I've been.  I shared last week that I was super busy with my Etsy shop, which is true.  I also have been having some health issues that have slowed me down a bit.  I haven't shared the trouble I've been having here because I've been trying to ignore it, hoping that it would just go away.   But, this week I was given a reality check that this isn't just going to go away.  So, long story short, I've been having strange symptoms since January of numbness in my lower extremities.  This summer the numbness got worse and now I'm numb from the waist down.  I've also been off balance for months and have had a hard time keeping up with things around the house.  

Last week I had an MRI of my lower lumbar spine and the radiologist incidentally found on a scout scan of my entire spine that I have a tumor on my spine in the thoracic region.  That seems to be what is causing my numbness.  I am having a second MRI of the thoracic spine to see this tumor better.  Then, I'll be seeing a neurosurgeon to go from there. 

With my son's wedding being just three weeks away and this information, I've decided to give myself a little blog break and take this time to prepare for the wedding and focus on my health.  I will be back sometime in the next week or two to share my fall home tour.  I'll also be putting my Find Your Voice Friday party on hold for October.  I'll be sure to keep you posted with what is happening with my health.  I would really appreciate your prayers that this tumor would be benign and that the surgeons can remove it and get me back to normal functioning.  

Here are a few of my favorites from this past week's Find Your Voice Party.

Jody from Southern Seazons shared her front porch all decked out for the fall season.  

Nancy from Slightly Coastal shared how she made over this gorgeous French buffet.  Stop by her blog to see how she achieved this look!

I hope to be back soon!  Thanks for hanging in there with me!!

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French Lime Paint - My New Love

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Let me introduce you to the new love in my life - La Chaux (pronounced La Show) French Lime Paint by Maison Blanche.  This paint is unlike anything I've ever seen or used (and I've used a lot of different paint products in my DIY life including milk paint and different brands of chalk based paints).  

La Chaux French Lime Paint is a traditional lime paint made of pure, European lime mixed with natural pigments.  It is eco friendly and a zero VOC paint product made with minimally processed natural ingredients.  La Chaux French Lime Paint is more textural than chalk based paints.   This is a very traditional European product and gives the look of multiple layers of paint with only one coat.

That last part is the deal sealer for me - only one coat!   You'll notice in the photo below that the La Chaux paint is thick.  It almost has a pudding like texture.  It's super smooth and creamy.

Here are a few before pics of the dresser I painted.  You can see it was "well loved" and was full of scratches and chipping veneer, but had a nice "Frenchy" shape!

After I thoroughly cleaned the dresser, it was ready for the first coat of La Chaux French Lime Paint.  Now, here's where you can be flexible.  You should give your project a base coat, but you don't have to use the La Chaux French Lime Paint.  Since this dresser had a lot of, let's say, "character", I decided that I would use La Chaux paint for both my base coat and top coat.  I wanted lots of paint texture.  My first coat of paint was the color Coquille (French for oyster shell).    Here's the complete La Chaux color chart for your reference.

It only took one coat of Coquille to cover the dark finish on this dresser.  Once the Coquille was completely dry, it was time for the top coat.  For the top coat, I chose the color Garconniere (French for bachelor's pad or love nest).  Normally, when I paint a piece of furniture, I'm super careful about how I apply the paint (with light, even strokes of the brush and going with the grain).  You can see in the photo below, that you don't need to worry about that with this product.   This is a dresser drawer with the top coat of Garconniere.  You can see from my obvious brush strokes that I was not worried about being careful with this paint.   I was almost intentionally sloppy (which is really not in my nature).  You can also see that in some areas the paint is thicker and even gloppy.  You can also see that I didn't worry if some of the base coat of Coquille showed through.  It all works and will lend to the overall end result of a time worn finish.  

Here's a drawer with the Garconniere coat beginning to dry.  You can see the edges are lighter.  The paint lightens quite a bit as it dries.  

I sat, amazed, and watched the dresser transform in front of my eyes as it dried! 

The only other thing I did was use a light grit sanding sponge to knock off some of the very rough spots and do a tiny bit of distressing on the edges and where you would naturally see wear from use.  

With just the light sanding, the surface of the dresser was soooo smooth to the touch.   Again, I've used a lot of different paint products over the years, but this stuff is in another league!  

I've never gotten this kind of effect with so little effort.  If you like the time worn, aged look of old European furniture, then you will love this product!

I did finish the piece with a coat of wax.  I chose to use  Maison Blanche Lime Wax in Gray.  Just wipe or brush on and buff to a soft sheen.  That's it - three easy steps!

I know I've been gushing the whole way through this post, but I can't help it - I'm in love!    If you are intrigued by the new La Chaux French Lime Paint - here's a great step-by-step video presentation - it's a great way to see a piece transform right before your eyes.  

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the La Chaux paint by Maison Blanche.  If you'd like to find a Maison Blanche paint retailer, click HERE.  

My "partners in paint" have more projects to show you using La Chaux French Lime Paint.  I know I can't wait to see them!  These ladies are all incredibly talented and creative!  Below are links to each blogger's post!

This is a sponsored post.  That means I have been compensated with product and/or payment to review and share my opinion with you.  I will always give you my honest opinion and won't share anything with you that I wouldn't use in my own home.

Sharing today at:

Stone Gable   Elizabeth and Co.  Miss Mustard Seed

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