O Lord, how can I fret when you walk with me?
My mind is small, confined, tunnel-visioned.
The things of Earth grow strangely bright,
instead of dim.
I envy the lillies, which toil not.
[Hard to imagine a toil-free existence.]
Worry is threaded through my DNA.
Trying to remember a point in life when worries added a single moment to my life.
They didn’t.
And yet I cling to it, like an addict.
Just one more hit … like it does me good.
Soloman said, “So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy.”
Sounds like a relevant goal.
Jesus said,”That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life.”
Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
So, today.
Today I will choose to breathe surrender.
A daily – no hourly; nay, minutely – decision.
Things above over things below.
Yes to St. Paul, who said, “Don’t worry about anything…tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
Thank you.
– Mike Atkinson



Yesterday was the 8-week mark since kidney transplant.

First, and most important, I have the follow-up kidney biopsy this Monday. The results will tell us if the steroid treatment did any good to bring down the inflammation. I should get the results by the end of next week. That’s the next time you’ll hear from me. At my appointment this morning, the doctor laid out possible treatments for the different possible results. <Deep breath>

Next, I got my drain out last Friday – FREE AT LAST! That was a loooong month wrestling with that thing – glad it’s gone.

Still feeling the effects of the steroid – jittery, sleeplessness, weak legs, and a very frustrating mental slowness, etc. Not fun.

Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated for next week’s test. Trying to remember the truth: Worrying about the future only keeps you from enjoying the present. Can I get an amen???

Dark Side of the Moon

Folks have been asking how I’m doing. It feels kinda like slowly rotating out of the dark side of the moon. (How’s that for dramatics?)
Last week was tough with the side effects from the prednisone infusions. But Sunday evening I started feeling some relief, and a bit more each day. Yesterday was the first day I felt like walking in the yard in a week. (And at 88 degrees!)
From here on it’s low-dose oral prednisone for about a month. At that point I’ll have another biopsy of the kidney to see how it’s responded to the treatment. Here’s hopin’!
A friend sent me this the other day, and I love it!
“I don’t know how my story will end, but nowhere in my text will it ever read …
‘I gave up.'”

A bigger bump in the road.

If you remember my update from last Friday, I said we’ll have to wait and see the results of the biopsy. Well, the results are in and they’re not good. There is inflammation in the kidney. My doctor says that it could be possible early signs of rejection or just a response to medications. It’s mild enough that we could ignore it and hope it goes away and sometimes it does. However, they prefer a more aggressive treatment with high doses of prednisone. That’s right, prednisone. So … déjà vu  all over again.

Monday I started the first of five infusions. Not as bad as the ones I had two years ago, which was 3000 milligrams; this session is only 1550 milligrams. But I’m already feeling the side effects – sleeplessness, swelling/moon face, sore limbs, fatigue. Pretty brutal and will only get worse. Saturday I’ll start a 5-week oral prednisone regimen and will then get another biopsy to see how the kidney has responded.

The difference between 2 years ago is that this time the steroid is being used for healing, which if you’ve ever used it before, it does a very good job, especially with inflammations. The doctors say that experience shows the chance of success is very, very high to save the kidney. So onward and forward and we’ll do our best.

Regardless, I am a blest man, more than I deserve. God’s perpetual presence brings comfort and motivation…