Life Must Go On

Well this is officially the first hospitalization of the new year. That actually is really good considering everything I’ve gone through. I’m actually happy that I didn’t have to come in very sick. This is different from any other admission to the hospital but a hospitalization is just what it is. Nothing prepares you to stop all that you’re doing.

My last post which was exactly a month ago when I was experiencing the beginning of kidney rejection. Steroids was ordered and it seemed to help stabilize things. Finally I was able to come close to my normal weight since I received my transplant. Food started to taste good and I kept eating. My activity level increased and I started to feel the best I have felt in a long time. Life was starting to feel pretty normal again or as normal as it can get for me. However blood test showed something different: High creatinine, BUN, potassium, calcium, etc.. Can’t forget elevated blood pressure. One medication led to other symptoms. As I got stronger the more my body wanted to attack my transplanted kidney and this is exactly what was happening.

UC Davis (my transplant hospital) decided it was time to do a kidney biopsy which was done last Friday. It went smoothly and from imaging everything looked really good. I felt optimistic, even though that past week was disappointing to see my labs still declining. I was sure since I felt better that everything was on the right track. Last Wednesday was a roller coaster of emotions but it doesn’t take much for me to remember how far I have come. All I know is “life must go on.” That week I made a cautious decision to do just that. I even asked my doctor who did my biopsy what I can do and can’t do. I had plans already to go to the city and still hoped to go. I was happy that he didn’t think that would be a problem. If I felt good and didn’t have any concerning symptoms I would be good to go.

Sonogram of my kidney taken during biopsy

I woke up that next morning feeling good. Couldn’t help picking up around the house. I could hear my youngest son yell at me to stop bending over. Something he’s been very protective of since I got my spinal surgery and something I shouldn’t be doing after the biopsy either. I just have had this energy that I haven’t had in a long time. I want to organize months of things that I haven’t been able to look at. Just in the past couple weeks I’ve accomplished more than I have in my household than I have in years. There is something in my spirit that is telling me that I’m getting there.

If you keep up with my Facebook postings I was shared every little moment with pride. Dinners that I cooked, places I was going, going to my boy’s activities and even our family outings. After such a long time being sick and not going places everything felt like new experiences again. I couldn’t believe it had been over a year since we gone across the bridge. Which I was glad to do because I missed my family and that drive was helpful because I needed to stay still and relax. Even though me an my family had a crazy encounter coming home. As always we were protected and safe. I just think about all the things we been protected of. Literally this situation could have been tragic. We were stopped in the middle of traffic as cops pursued a vehicle that literally was coming head on to us. My first response was calling God’s name in prayer. The power in His name never fails. Thankfully the car surrendered and nobody was hurt. I couldn’t help think how fast that could have taken my whole family. Tomorrow is just not promised.

Me feeling good & ready to live!

This was unique preparation for what this week has brought. Definitely drastic to come from a week of new experiences to getting hospitalized. I was at my youngest first baseball game of the season when my doctor called to give me the results from the biopsy. He explained how they found antibodies that were fighting against my kidney. I needed to be hospitalized and they would call me the next day when to come in. My doctor tells me about the hours of conversation he had with my specialist on how to treat this because the infection I’ve been fighting makes it complicating. They have to knock my immune system without knocking the antibodies that are fighting the infection.

Naturally its concerning but in my heart I know it’s not worth worrying too much about it. I just have to go with it. I finish watching my boy’s game, Daniel already knows something was bothering me. We are kind of prepared for these types of situations. I do what I always do and I ask for prayer. I chose to just share with some of my prayer warriors and girlfriends (which I probably missed a few). I wrote:

First & foremost I want to thank you for your faithful prayers. I know this covering has taken me far beyond I could’ve thought my state of being would be today. Despite what test or outcome looked like, time & time God’s plan has always conquered. I am trusting what the kidney biopsy result shown. I heard back from UC Davis & my transplant is in early stage rejection. The best treatment is Anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) infusion. Which I’ll need to be hospitalized  & monitored. It’s what they feel is the best option & one I’m comfortable to try because I’m willing to fight by any means. I’ve come this far & I know my Lord is with me. It’s still very complicating because of the current infection & this is a very strong medication that can cause some ugly side effects but I’ll be at the best place to be closely monitored. The hope is that it will be a short hospitalization.

In my spirit I’m feeling better than I have in years. I’m taking my mat & walking out my healing, with discernment and with the Lord. I am not one to watch life go by and dwell on the what ifs. I have to keep looking at the what’s next to keep my spirit thriving. It’s not a perfect walk but I’m learning everyday to just surrender. Please keep covering me with those mighty, mighty, powerful prayers. I look forward to testifying the power in His Holy name! Tomorrow I will be admitted at UC Davis transplant department. I don’t know the time yet but I’ll keep everyone posted.

I wanted to share some of the power prayers and responses that continues to help me through times such as this:

“I know how exactly how you feel. Now what. Move forward 2 steps get dragged back 5 steps, but our path is clear in God will I put all my trust. We are, yes you are healed. I thank God that regardless of symptoms we are healed by the blood of Jesus. I put all my trust and faith in God. The doctors can tell us what the sickness that is attacking our bodies, but thank God he tells us he got our back.  It was hard for me to confess my healing cause I was so sick. But Maribel just remember one thing, this is what kept me when I was so sick. Just call the name Jesus. I thank God that is all I needed.  The medicines had me so sick I could not remember some things. JESUS is all you need. God healed you and it is so. Now stand on that word. Amen” ~From a sister who shares a similar health journey

“You are the Beloved of the LORD!! Abba God has Not authored “rejection” in fact HE authored “reconciliation” & healing that springs forth speedily!! In the name of the LORD GOD of Hosts, in the name that is above every name, above the name of “infection”, above the name of “rejection”, above the name of “test results”, in the Mighty Name of JESUS kidney be made whole & fully reconciled IN Maribel!!! By HIS stripes  you “were” healed, that means your healing occurred in HIStory. You have HERstory & HIStory!! You’re the teacher in this history class Maribel 🙂 Psalm 91:14-16 “Because SHE has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver HER; I will set HER on high, because SHE has known My name. 15 SHE shall call upon Me, and I will answer HER; I will be with HER in trouble; I will deliver HER and honor HER. 16 With long life I will satisfy HER, And show HER My salvation. Infection, you have to go!!! You’re trespassing in the holy temple of God, His dwelling place IN Maribel. We permanently evict you, bind & gag you, & rebuke you never to return. We say devil SHUTUP!! And command you under our feet!! In CHRIST, we loose healing, abundance, life everlasting, joy, truth, & reconciliation in JESUS name!!! With long life you satisfy Maribel O Lord!!! Matthew 18:18-20 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” ~From Ministry leader/friend

I haven’t been able to respond to all the messages but thought to do this on my blog. Everything happened so fast and now I’m here day 3 in the hospital. I’ve already gone through the 2 plasma pheresis treatments. They are still deciding if they will do the ATG treatments which is what they normally treat transplant rejection. These power prayers certainly was a reminder of the promises God gives to us. It is something I have to keep in the forefront. Even as hard as it can be to proclaim, especially when things haven’t gone that way for a while. That’s when faith has to be activated and the accountability I have is something that I am so thankful for. So thank you so much for all the messages through email and Facebook.

As I mentioned my case was very difficult to start with. Each doctor I’ve seen had to mention how I’ve been the talk of many discussions. Being at UC Davis which is a teaching hospital; my case seemed to be one that they were all interested in. I met so many doctors all linked to different aspects to my health. Transplant, nephrology, neurology, infectious disease, plasma pehersis and PICC, wound, internal and floor doctors. If you watch the TV show, House, than you would know those patients that has a crazy disorder/illness and no one knows what to do. All they can do is make the best guess and go with it. Well it kind of feels that way now.

First plasma pheresis treatment

It’s been a mix of emotions that have come through. The first days flashes of my many hospitalizations come back. The pain, the surgeries, the tears and the loss of time. But I’m placed in a hospital room that has wrap around windows of panoramic views. A serene landscape of rooftops and sky and even as the many thoughts can come through my mind I can’t help but have a sense of peace inside. I take a walk and I see a toddler struggling to walk, who is fighting something similar since she too is at the transplant ward. As I mention it doesn’t take a lot to bring back the appreciation I have for the life that I have. Even in my view I see Shriners hospital and think about the burnt victims and it makes my pain seem so minimal.

My view from my hospital room

This is the unexplainable peace that I have in my heart. It is an example of the faith that God has put within me. Which is first birthed in my heart, out of my mouth, into the atmosphere and into my spirit.

Faith filled words will put you over. Fear filled words will defeat you. Words are the most powerful thing in the universe (God’s creative Power).

Being encouraged this way has been the reason why I know life will go on. I don’t have all the answers and I decided a long time ago to not waste energy on worrying about the “what if’s” and the “whys” I am always looking for the “what’s next?. Even though it takes stepping back sometimes.

I could appreciate my circumstances because once upon a time I was not content. I was constantly searching and yearning to do more and be more. In my brokenness, contentment is very clear. I shared with one of my pastor friends yesterday about how weird it was to be well and feel so disconnected. That was how it was when I first received my transplant. I was well for the very first time in a long time and drawing close to God was harder. How is it when things are all good it’s so easy to get lost in it?

Is it why the Bible teaches us, “That its better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud” -(Prov 16:19)? There is many scripture references that this verse and its one I am thankful to learn in my lifetime. That’s probably where my humility comes from. I didn’t ask to be sick again though. I laughed yesterday with my friend about this. Sometimes our biggest curse can be the biggest blessing.

I am just in each moment life brings to me. This month has been a blessing. Life is being restored. If I’m thrown a curveball; I just have to go with it but I can’t let it throw me off course because I know God has a better plan. He doesn’t want this for me. Until than I just have to push through. Things are uncertain and I can’t say what tomorrow brings but I do believe that making the best of each day is how life should be lived.

7 thoughts on “Life Must Go On

  1. maribel…my phones dying but I want to write what I can…. tears filled my eyes and my heart was touched by ur words… ur faith and passion to look forward. I am so proud of your strength and courage. I am truly blessed to have you as apart of my life and in our family.. I do look up to you.. and as I said before u are a truestrong inspiration. I love you bel may god continue to watch over you n bless u… u are always in my prayers. im thinking of u. luv n miss u


    1. Love you Vanessa and thank you!


  2. Janette Guevara March 25, 2012 — 12:09 pm

    Dear Maribel,

    I think of you often and you are always and will continue to be in my prayers….xoxo!

    Love, Tita Janette


  3. Dearest Bel,

    I love you so much and am continually encouraged and inspired by your strength. Thank you for sharing your journey so openly and courageously. I am standing in agreement, that you have already been healed…your body’s getting in agreement. I’m praying against any confusion, guessing or careless experimentation with the doctors. May our Mighty Lord bring divine clarity that only God can bring to your medical team. May they see a solution they’ve never seen before and then deliver a precise course of treatment (only if absolutely necessary) and may you have the continued blessed favor of the Lord upon you. May the Lord protect each kidney and bring every inch of your body into the perfect alignment and functioning He intended for you. I declare any hole in your chest or anywhere else in your body that doesn’t belong, sealed up and healed now, by the power and the blood of Jesus…of the God who heals us.I pray the strength of your spirit ministers to everyone in the hospital that crosses your path and that your body begins to self-heal in mysterious ways that only God knows the inner workings of. God hath said Daughter, your faith has made you well. Well, I can say you have enough faith to make your whole hospital ward well. Continue to press in Bel despite the weariness, as I see the truth of how when you draw near to Him, He draws near to you for you are overflowing with His presence. You are uniting the body of Christ as we all stand together and in full agreement for your complete healing and restoration.

    May you feel the constant presence of our great Lord holding you in His perfect arms, comforting and restoring you to the wholeness He intended for you.

    I love you,


    1. Marie, Thank you for always being a prayer warrior for me and a true accountability in the Lord. I am encouraged to keep sharing how God is working in my situation. I wouldn’t be able to go through this on my own strength. It is a testimony of His power and mercy in my life. You have been a huge inspiration and have rooted me on through so many different seasons in my life. There so many things we don’t see happening in the spiritual realm but your prayer always speaks to that. I know God has been with the medical staff and through this whole journey. Even when things look uncertain God brings certainty. His promises will remain true to those who chose to believe. I continue to make this choice on a daily. No matter how gleam the situation can be it is through this hope I know my spirit continues to thrive and healing and restoration is taking place! Thank you again for always blessing my spirit. Love you!


  4. Dearest Maribel,

    You are the strongest woman I know. Yesterday, today and tomorrow…you are an inspiration. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I love you, sister!

    God is faithful and full of mercy and grace. He is our Savior and He will NEVER forsake you.

    Love and blessings…In Christ alone,


    1. Thank you Len, We’ve drew inspiration from one another yesterday, today and always! I’ll always cherish that. Love ya!


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