Make Up Monday – Matters of Life and Death – July 27

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The last full week of July has arrived – can you believe it? Please pardon my absence over the past 10 days, but some rather big issues arose, taking us on an emotional roller-coaster of ups and downs.


It began two Saturdays ago, on July 18th, when my husband Dave and I enjoyed attending one of our favorite annual events, the Yarmouth Clam Festival in Yarmouth, Maine. This year happened to be the 50th event, from its origin in 1965. It’s a 3-day event every third weekend in July featuring food vendors (especially with seafood like clams and lobsters, as well as favorites like fried dough!), carnival rides, entertainment, and nearly 200 arts and crafts booths (my favorite part!)


Photo source:



After that nice time away, early in the evening, I discovered one of our beautiful cats, Smokey, lying between the wall and the washing machine after he had used the litter box. He was very lethargic, his eyes looked really bizarre, and he just didn’t seem right. As far as we knew, he was fine that morning and had joined the other cats at their normal feeding time. The cat we saw that evening was drastically different and looked very sick.


We called the emergency vet clinic and they told us to bring him in right away, because it could be a urinary blockage — something that could be fatal, especially for male cats. We had to borrow money from Dave’s dad to cover the charges for the emergency visit and procedure. Fortunately, we caught the problem in its early stages, and the vet was able to unblock Smokey and void his bladder with a catheter.


We saved money by taking him home and watching him ourselves, instead of leaving him there for observation. Dave stayed up with Smokey on Saturday night, and then I stayed up on Sunday night so Dave could get a good night’s sleep before a work day. We brought him to our regular vet on Monday (a week ago), and got a good report there that Smokey was already recovering well and had not reblocked. Each day he got a little better and back to normal, and a few days ago, he finally started eating and successfully using the litter box. So glad God even cares about our fur babies!


Our beautiful HEALTHY Smokey boy!
Our beautiful HEALTHY Smokey boy!



In the middle of nursing our sick kitty back to health, a much more serious life and death issue was going on as my dear friend Debbie’s 7-year-old grandson Drew was undergoing emergency surgery. Drew was diagnosed with leukemia three years ago. Back on July 20, while he and his family (Debbie’s daughter and son-in-law, and three children) were on vacation, Drew got sick with a lung infection, and the family had to cut their vacation short to get him back to their state’s children’s hospital and medical team familiar with Drew’s medical conditions. The sad reality was summed up in Drew’s dad’s words when he said Drew woke up in a hotel bed at the resort, and ended with him in a bed in the pediatric ICU.


One explanation from a family friend provided a summary back on the 20th for concerned family and friends: “Because Drew has a severely diminished immune system, this potentially life-threatening lung condition has, among other things, made his temperature skyrocket (104) and made it incredibly difficult for the poor little guy to breathe. His condition is continuing to decline and doctors are still struggling to determine what, exactly, is wrong. He will likely undergo a relatively risky surgical procedure in the next 24 hours in an effort to determine the cause of his condition.”


Drew underwent a bronchoscopy and lung biopsy – a complicated surgery that lasted over four hours – back on the 21st. He is now listed as critical (up from very critical) and stable, but still has machines keeping him alive, especially a *ventilator doing the breathing. He has remained heavily sedated, but occasionally rouses enough to open his eyes and look around, and communicate with his parents and others–precious moments, for sure! *[UPDATE: As of today, 7/27, Drew just came off the ventilator and is on a bipap machine now!]


The medical team is still reviewing results from tests and the biopsy to determine exactly what’s happening in his lungs and how best to treat Drew. While there has been some progress, please pray that God will heal this precious little boy, comfort and strengthen his parents, siblings, and other family members and friends–and give the medical team wisdom to ascertain the problem and the treatment.


There is a GoFundMe page set up to help the family cover the extraordinary medical costs associated with this event: Support the Woods. If you are on Facebook, look for the hash tag #PrayForDrew and you’ll get an idea of the amazing outpouring of love and support for this precious little boy and his family.


The Wood Family–Drew is the little boy in the cart.


Superhero Drew and his Super Parents!
Superhero Drew and his Super Parents!





Special note to help my son Andrew out: He has recently published another book, entitled Flash Stories For Anytime. Here’s an excerpt from a review: “Flash Stories For Anytime will entertain and stimulate you as you touch on several characters in key events of their personal journeys. Buried inside are also snippets and references to some very well known folklore and classic novels that will pleasantly surprise many readers. Perfect for the coffee table or a long trip, you can read one story or all of them (if you’re flying international), and they’re timeless enough to be enjoyed again and again.” (N. Hodgdon)


It’s available at Amazon for only $8.99, or FREE for those with Kindle Unlimited! I know I’m biased, but after proofreading books for him–he really does write well and is very creative in his story-crafting skills!



  1. Claudette P. Esterine

    Sorry to hear about your challenges over the weekend. 🙁 Hope things have turned and moving in the other direction now. Namaste
    Claudette P. Esterine recently posted..Young Women, Unstuck Your Career With These 2 Tips

    27 . Jul . 2015
  2. Shonda

    I would have loved to attend the clam festival. Sounds like a good time. However, I am sorry to hear about the difficulties with your furry family member. Hope the fundraising is successful.
    Shonda recently posted..Four Amazing Family Hikes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    27 . Jul . 2015
  3. Amy

    Oh Karen, isn’t it funny how life steps in and your normal routines and habits just get thrown out the window? I’m glad your kitty and the little boy Drew are doing better, and I do appreciate what a servant you are to those who are fortunate enough to have you in their lives!
    Amy recently posted..Crucial onion growing update (for you, especially, Rose)

    27 . Jul . 2015
  4. M from The Stay-at-Home Life

    I’m glad your kitty pulled through. I hope Drew improves and beats the cancer!!
    M from The Stay-at-Home Life recently posted..“The Fat Kid” Tells All: The College Years (Part 3 in a Series)

    27 . Jul . 2015
  5. Debbie Denny

    So sorry about the young man. Will have him in my thought. Glad your cat is better.
    Debbie Denny recently posted..The Light of Day: A Beyond the Horizon Novel by Kristen Kehoe! Review!

    28 . Jul . 2015
  6. Carolyn K

    Poor sweet Drew, I will pray for him that is so sad but hope that he is healed and makes a full recovery and lives to a ripe old age.

    28 . Jul . 2015
  7. Rajat

    Its great to know that things came back in shape and now your cat is fine. I sincerely pray for Drew for his speedy recovery and may God get him back hail and hearty. I really appreciate the effort and initiative that has been put forth for the child and the cycle of karma will definitely bring good health and happiness.
    Rajat recently posted..Remembering the Heroes at the Kohima War Cemetery

    28 . Jul . 2015
  8. Sinziana

    I hope everything is good now! LOVE the fur guy so much…I have 3 and also 4 baby cats.
    Sinziana recently posted..Elegant Summer Outfit – #FancyFriday

    28 . Jul . 2015
  9. Wood Arts Universe

    so sorry to hear about your cat and little boy Drew.. sending hugs and prayers for him <3 <3 <3 and wish him speedy recovery. God bless him

    28 . Jul . 2015
  10. Amy Dowling

    Best of luck with the fundraising and glad that your furry friend is doing much better.
    Amy Dowling recently posted..Simple Flower Arrangement Using Grocery Store Flowers

    28 . Jul . 2015
  11. Liz Mays

    I’m so happy to hear that your cat recovered. That would be devastating!
    Liz Mays recently posted..STEM is for Girls, Too

    28 . Jul . 2015
  12. Shann Eva

    Wow. I was so happy to hear that Drew is now on the Bipap machine. I pray that he makes a full recovery. Also, sorry to hear about your cat, but glad you got help in time.
    Shann Eva recently posted..Give Me One More Week!

    28 . Jul . 2015
  13. Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy

    Happy to hear that your kitty is doing well.
    Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy recently posted..Womens Denim Trends For 2015

    28 . Jul . 2015
  14. Beth

    I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a normal day anymore. Everyone has “something” going on. I am glad your cat is doing better but so sorry to hear about your friend’s grandson. Cancer, especially with a child, just sucks. I think the best advice I ever gave my friend who has a son with cancer was to remember to breathe. I think we all forget in the moments of crisis and that can sometimes paralyze our thoughts and ability to function.
    Beth recently posted..5 Ways To Survive #Rainmageddon2015

    28 . Jul . 2015
  15. Salma

    So glad that your fur baby is fine and that Drew is stable. Prayers to you and your family.
    Salma recently posted..Ready to Dance Without Mom

    28 . Jul . 2015
  16. Elizabeth O.

    I’m sorry to hear about Drew. I am sending prayers your way.

    28 . Jul . 2015
  17. Ourfamilyworld

    Glad to hear about Drew’s improvement and he is now on the Bipap machine. I am praying for his full recovery.

    28 . Jul . 2015
  18. Jonathan Key

    So sorry about Drew. Prayers sent your way. Everyone is going through something. Walk a mile in their shoes and you’ll see everyone needs God’s grace. His love and mercy are sufficient. He never fails.

    By the way… The font is a bit hard to read on this site.
    Jonathan Key recently posted..The No Spend Challenge – Day 28: 4th Week Reflection

    28 . Jul . 2015
  19. Betsy @ Happily Ever After, Etc.

    I’m so glad smokey is doing okay! We have had a few scares this year with our little yorkie and it’s just terrifying… hope Drew is doing okay too!
    Betsy @ Happily Ever After, Etc. recently posted..July Round Up!

    29 . Jul . 2015
  20. Denise

    I am glad to hear that the cat is recovering. But the story about Drew breaks my heart. My prayers and thoughts are with him and his family.

    30 . Jul . 2015
  21. Leslie

    Aww! I’ll be sending prayers your way!
    Leslie recently posted..Monday Coffee Talk

    30 . Jul . 2015
  22. Ann BAcciaglia

    I am so glad to hear that your cat is feeling better. Hugs and prayers for Drew and his family.
    Ann BAcciaglia recently posted..Favorite Copycat Recipes

    30 . Jul . 2015
  23. Alexandria Gunn

    Sorry to hear about all the struggles you’ve faced. Great to hear that your cat is feeling better. Prayers are with you all during this.
    Alexandria Gunn recently posted..What Are Your Writing Goals?

    31 . Jul . 2015
  24. Eydie

    So glad your fur child is doing well. It’s rough to see your “baby” suffer. They have no idea what’s going on.

    Big hugs and prayers for Drew and his family. When your precious child is so ill – it’s so heartbreaking.
    Eydie recently posted..I Cross My Heart

    31 . Jul . 2015

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