Posted in Blogging

Middle of the Year – 2018 So Far

It’s that time of the year again. The half way mark, where I give you all a run down of how the year was up to now. A lot has happened this year, but everything pales in comparison to what Mark and I are going through as I type.

We are in Sydney, more specifically Parramatta, where Mark is at Westmead Hospital recovering from an unsuccessful kidney pancreas transplant. The story behind that is long, and I’ll go in more depth about it near the end of this post. But, for now suffice to say that it’s a roller coaster of emotions that we are both confronting, and without the support we’ve received from family, friends, and new acquaintances here in Parramatta, and our faith in God, it would be a whole sight harder.

First, though, I want to list the moments that have happened this year that have shaped our year so far.

  1. My best friend had an art exhibition at her apartment where I read a poem inspired by one of her pieces.
  2. I’ve continued my Bible Course
  3. Mark’s health improved 100% in comparison to how he was last year, and that was a big thing as it meant he could be re-activated on the transplant list, as he was suspended at the end of 2017.
  4. I was invited by one of the women at church to a women’s Bible Study, which I go to semi-regularly. Will definitely be going more when we return home.
  5. Most of the past few months I kept being surprised by how fast the year was going…I’m still shocked that January was just under six months ago…can the planet slow down? Though if it did we’d probably die…
  6. We’ve had a lot of changes at work with our programming and children transitioning from our room to the older room and from the babies to our room. I think I ended up getting burnt out by the time we got the call for Mark’s transplant…so though I wasn’t expecting a “holiday” any time soon…I am using the opportunity to wind down from work, even if it is stressful in other ways. Worrying about Mark, for starters.
  7. I challenged myself to read 20 books this year…Guessing I will surpass that number easily, as I’m already on book number 20. I may do a post about the books Ove read so far in another post.
  8. I’ve also seen several movies with Mark and also with friends throughout the year so far, including The Greatest Showman for the second time, Black Panther, I Can Only Imagine, Avengers Infinity War x 2, Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Again I may do a separate post on the movies I’ve watched.
  9. I had a follow up appointment from my laparoscopic surgery last year for my endometriosis, and that resulted in more surgery in April where the tissue was excised, which has helped to alleviate the symptoms. Which is a big win. There is no cure for endometriosis, though. It’s just a way to manage the symptoms.
  10. We had an Irish family gathering earlier in the year with my mum’s Irish relatives. We even had some of the extended family fly from Belfast to join us. That was a lot of fun. Pizza night at my parents.

The call.

On the 14 of June, in the wee hours of the morning we got the call for Mark and I to head to Sydney for his transplant. They booked us on the earliest flight out of Perth and we arrived in Sydney at around lunch time. Then straight to the hospital where they started prepping him for the transplant. There was a lot of to and fro ing, and decisions to make about whether it was going to happen. They went through with it in the end, though it would be complicated. I didn’t realise how complicated until the next day…where he ended up having to have two more surgeries due to complications with the pancreas. I was a mess when I got told this…but, I had so many people to call, and a lifeline in the guise of family friends here in Sydney, who took me to the footy as a welcomed distraction (Swans beat the Eagles…). Even the surgeon said I should go to the footy.

From then the journey we travelled was a bumpy one. Mark was brought into the intensive care unit (ICU) where he remains up to date of this writing (28 June). He’s had three more surgeries since then as well. The second of those was the most devastating. The ICU and the transplant team tried everything to keep the new organs viable…but it was not to be. The pancreas started to reject and due to the number of surgeries (from what I understand) the kidney was being affected as well. So, the team made the tough decision to remove the new organs. It was Mark’s life on the line though, so it wasn’t much of a choice. I’m just glad to have my husband.

It’s still a long road ahead, but he is on the right track so far. They are hoping to have him out of ICU next week, and I am hoping and praying for that as well.


Alright, after that less than joyful note, let’s talk about something else that is always a big part of my year to date. Music. Gosh, where to start? Perhaps…with this.

Backstreet Boys – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

New music from my all time favourite boy band! This bodes well for the rest of the year. Especially as they plan on dropping a new single in the American Autumn…and then the album later in the year.

Also, Good Charlotte released a new single, Actual Pain, and their new album is slated for release in September.

For King and Country is also releasing new music.

Graham Kendrick released a new Live Worship album, Keep the Banner Flying High. But, back to the Backstreet Boys. The release of their new single prompted me to go back and listen to their entire back catalogue, and I discovered a new favourite song. I love how music can do that for me.

Still, the one thing I am hopeful for, music wise, is new music from my all time favourite band, ever. Simple Plan. But, that’s more likely to happen in 2019, knowing how their process is. Though Chuck has said they might try writing while on Warped Tour. But, I won’t hold my breath.

So, this is 2018 so far.

Bring on the second half!

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