Our Betty… is getting better!

Many of you regular readers are familiar with Betty, aka themema, either in person or from this blog. As you know, she has recently had a very serious operation. There have been many, many prayers wafting up from the Taff household for this incredible woman. I ‘met’ her originally on the old Gaithernet site, where her political opinions and outspokenness were forever getting her in trouble with the powers-that-be there (I’m sorry, but I kinda loved that!) By the time we finally met in person, it felt like we’d known each other forever. She is smart and funny and has a heart as big as all outdoors. She is fiercely loyal and loving to her friends, as Momma Lloyd and LindaB can also attest. She has ‘been there’ for Russ and I in so many ways over the last few years.

She has always been a strong shoulder to lean on, full of advice, lovingly bossing me around and always telling me things are going to be just fine. She has a strong faith in God, and she faced this life and death surgery with her usual low-key pragmatism.

I can’t begin to tell you how courageous and strong my sweet friend is.

Here, in her own words, is a little bit of her medical history and you’ll see what I mean– she wrote this right before her surgery:

n 1958 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins. Between then and the mid 70’s a received 7000 rads of radiation to the chest area. This has caused damage to the heart valves which my cardiologist has been monitoring for about 10 years.

The time has come that 3 of the valves need to be replaced. In testing for this, it has been discovered that I will also need one bypass. However, the biggest concern it that my aorta is calcified, which greatly increases the possibility of my stroking out during surgery.

On Dec 3rd, I went into surgery. In inserting the 4 part Port, my lung lining was knicked and the procedure had to be aborted, thankfully before the sternum had been cracked open. Ispent 2 days in the hospital, and then returned home.

The surgery has been rescheduled for Thursday January 7th. I am very confident in the skill and wisdom of my surgeon, Dr. Philpott, and in my anesthesiologist Dr. Dickinson. Dr. Dickinson says that he will probably keep me in a coma for 3 days, and Dr. Philpott says that I will probably be in the hospital for 14 days. Sadly, I can’t drive for probably 8 weeks. :>( lol.

My friend Kak, and son Dwight will update this site as their is progress to report.

I ask your prayers for the skill and wisdom of my entire surgical and care team.

So much has happened since Betty posted this on CarePages! The surgery was successful, thank God, but her recovery has been harrowing. There have been countless twists and turns– sometimes it seemed like things were crawling along at a snail’s pace, and then sometimes it felt like things were changing every hour or so. Her family has very kindly  and conscientiously kept us updated, and I know they have appreciated knowing that we were praying for her. I haven’t spoken to her yet (the family has gently let us know that her strength is very limited right now) but Russ called her and talked for a few minutes before he left for the Faroe Islands last week, and I have gotten one email from her so far. A few days ago she even posted to the CarePages site– it is obvious she is off her game, because her spelling and punctuation are usually impeccable!

it is I

Posted Feb 28, 2010 11:08pm

thanks so much for all the prayers and spport for my family. it

is sometimes hard to grasp how successful the heart suurgery was,

and how many. unexpected problems I have had to handle. Thank you,

God for such talente doctors, my faithfl family and friends. The

biggest unknown and hurdle now is the kidney failure.

As of yessterday, I am enjoying reading on my laptop, but I will

turn the posting back to Robyn, as I shkake so badly tat typing is

stressul and tiring.

love betty

The latest reports are continuing to be positive, but I wanted to let you all know that there is still something very specific we can pray about: Betty’s kidneys have taken a beating because of the extreme nature of this complicated procedure and she has been put on dialysis. The doctors can’t say for absolute sure at this time whether or not that will be a permanent situation, but the dialysis is very rough on her. Betty is a very private person, and I didn’t check with her first to see if this was OK, but I just wanted to post this today to ask all of you if you would please join with Russ and I to ask God to please intervene in this last huge hurdle. He has been so faithful, and Betty has come so far. I know it would be a comfort for her to know that she is being lifted up by all of us here at the ‘bloomr, so hopefully she won’t fuss at me for drawing such ‘unseemly’ attention to her!  And if you could maybe leave some love and encouragement for her in the comments, I will make sure that she gets them.

This is yet another way that this community can come together to help one of our own. Betty has a long way to go, but she is such a fighter! I truly appreciate your kindness towards her, and thanks so much in advance for your prayers.

17 Responses

  1. VA-Cathy

    Only people that have been thru serious medical situations can have any idea of what you have been thru and are going thru. I pray for your recovery, also for strength and peace. So many thoughts can get you down, but His Peace passes understanding for your heart and your mind!!

  2. bettyrwoodward

    Thanks for keeping us up to date with Betty’s condition. Please assure her that we are still praying for her and really miss her contributions to this and various other sites.

  3. Janice

    Yeah! I am finally able to communicate with all of you. I have been reading your blog for almost a year now and WordPress has now made it so I could register to join the Babybloomr community. I am so glad that Betty is recovering. It is a joy when she is on the sight, she is so precious. I will enjoy getting to know each of you as the days, weeks and months go by. My prayers are with Betty and each and every one of you.

  4. jonny

    Welcome aboard, Janice! Glad you made it through, and looking forward what Christ has to offer through you being here.

    Don’t know what to say about, to Betty. I’m just gifted with lodes of love and appreacitaion for her being!! Some more prayers have been proffered in her direction, FWIW! Thanks for the post and up-date, Tori = )

  5. meb

    Praying for Betty, her family, and the doctors. For peace, wisdom, healing, and strength. Thank you for the update.

  6. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Gracious, I would never miss an opportunity to pray for our Betty. I believe the success of her wretched surgery is due entirely to the prayers being said all over this world. Yep, she still has a way to go….but she is on her way and I know she will be back here in no time. In the meantime, Betty, next picture with my Russ…don’t stand quite as close, my dear. Love you!

  7. Lowell

    We are all so thankful that so many of our prayers have been answered as we continue to pray for Betty. I too, join you & Russ in praying to our Loving God to give Betty’s body the healing & strength she needs to eliminate the need for dialysis.
    Tori thank you for this update/explanation and history of Betty’s medical problems.

  8. LindaB

    Everything about Betty is amazing! Even her surgery is incredible—-that medical science can repair heart valves damaged years ago amazes me. And that she survived this long with the damaged ones and that she accomplished all she did is unbelieveable……….and lucky for us! I am praying with you all that her kidneys resume working efficiently very soon! And I am praising Him for her good progress so far! God is faithful and full of compassion.

  9. wendmark

    Thank you for posting the update on Betty. I have been following her progress on the Gaither Site and praying for Betty these past months now. I’m so thankful that Momma Lloyd has been so faithful in keeping us posted on how she has been doing. We continue to pray for her and for those in her life, Such as you and Russ, and Momma Lloyd!
    Blessings to you all!

  10. rockin robyn

    Thank you Tori for the update…

    Just wanted to send a hello to Betty and tell her that I too have been praying for her recovering. It is so special that we come here and get to meet new friends that we may not ever meet in person, but out of this blog and in our own lives it is quite special when knowing that a fellow “bloomr” is down, and being at work and quite a few times, I might add a thought of “themema” would cross my mind – a, I wonder how she is doing and then a quiet prayer for her safe keeping.

    I don’t believe God creates bad things to happen but I know He uses them as an example to show non-believers and mockers just what faith and prayer can do and I believe Betty is one of God’s miracles to show us what His grace will do for Betty and what it can do for us. May His healing hand touch your kidneys and heal them if it is His will.

  11. auburn60

    I have been keeping up with Betty on her Care Page although I haven’t commented much. I have no doubts that the prayers of all her friends have sustained her these last 2 months. What an ordeal for her and her family.
    I’m sure she and Momma Lloyd will be battling for their #1 and #2 spots again before too long.
    Tori, would you like for me to start wearing a dinner-plate sized button proclaiming myself ‘TORI’S #1 FAN’? Just so you don’t feel left out or anything.

  12. delightedabroad

    This is really ‘good news’ ! I’ll keep on praying of course. And I hope God is willing to heal Betty’s kidneys like he has healed my hubby’s liver.

  13. baldwin

    Thanks for the update Tori. Payers continuing that betty will soon be completely well and back on Russ’ group. Love Maureen

  14. rachelbaker

    Janice – welcome, glad you got in!

    I’ve been keeping up to date on the carepages site, and reading Momma Lloyd’s updates on fantafftics over on gaithercommunity too. Please tell theMema that the prayers aren’t going to stop until she is completely well and that we miss her brightening up cyberspace with her grace and humour.

  15. Phyllis S

    OK, Betty this is going a little far, getting first Mommalloyd to post and now you are bringing Tori into it, a phone call from Russ, what next? Oh a visit from your favorite politician, yea, you go Girl!

    No kidding, we send many thanks not only to Mommalloyd, Tori and Russ, but also Robyn and Dwight, they have all been so faithful in keeping us informed.

    Our prayers continue to be with you for complete recovery, we need you in Myrtle Beach. Love Ya, Girlfriend.

  16. mikkicope

    Another opportunity to try to touch base with Betty, and let her know how much I’ve been praying for her – and have sent many cards and emails which have been sent back! There is no way I would not attempt to tell this terrific friend how much I love her – and pray for her throughout every day. Honest!! She is truly a ‘wonder woman’ and a friend to all.

    I miss her not being there to fix all my problems also!! I still can’t find my spellcheck, but that is not why I have kept trying. I want her to know that the four “Ms” remaining at our computers are sagging, though still trudging on, without you at the wheel. Well, sagging is an ‘all over’ thing these days!

    I hope she will have at home care because this lovely lady, strong as she is, will need it – and deserves it. Did I say I love her?

    Tori, this is a wonderful thing to do – maybe I’ll start posting. This is the first ‘blog’ I’ve ever been on. Even that cute Shephard Smith doesn’t get me on his, and that’s saying something!!

    I’ll be back……..unless I am blacklisted!

  17. GRITSinNC

    I haven’t been around long enough to be familiar with Betty, but this blog posting brought tears. wish I knew this special lady. The picture with Russ is wonderful. Praying that she’ll fully recover very soon.

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