About Me

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Anacortes, Washington, United States
This is my testimony - my testimony of faith and lack thereof; of the rising and falling of hopes and dreams; of beliefs and disbelief's; of tremendous heartache and human folly; of reaching out and stepping out when all I want at times is to is pull back and step away. At the age of 30 I was diagnosed with a very rare neurological condition called Post-traumatic Syringomyelia (PTS). Please visit my post on PTS. One of my goals is to increase awareness of this terminal condition. Broken to Grace is not yet released. Follow this blog to receive an email when the final release date is announced. God bless, Ronda

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Broken to Grace

Life is simply chaos personified and then orchestrated by God.
We have a symphony playing all around us and through us. And like any symphony there are changes in pitch, differing melodies, times of complete silence, and times of violent uproar that hit you at the very soul.
Make a point to pause for long enough so you can better hear the the beauty of the whole piece instead of the misunderstood noises of the singular instruments. In hearing how all the instruments around us work together, we can better see the beauty of our role in the symphony that is life.
The process of creating a beautiful symphony amidst the chaos of people learning to play takes a lifetime of work in relationship with God and people.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

For the Love of God

We can't out run the wisdom, plans, or will of God...
so why is it that so many of us spend our lives trying to?
And why do so many of us want to?
For along with all of these things also comes His unfailing love, mercy and grace.
...Accept all that He gives to us, including His Word, and live this life with Joy in your heart no matter your circumstance.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Calling out for cheer and prayers to push me along!

Call out! I need my friends to assist me in staying on focus, on track, on the path - of finishing this BIG edit. I need 10-12 full work days to finish. That's harder than it sounds. I had to break away for awhile after I sent off the 53 pages to the publisher, and now it is time to kick it all out and finish it in full. I need some cheerleaders, and I need to hide out for awhile. (And I need a maid!) Send your cheers and prayers in creative ways while I'm in reclusion ♥
Thanksgiving in reclusion should be interesting.
But Jessica and Luke will both be home and we'll still get our much desired family time.
My kids are behind me 100%

Publishers are awaiting this full edited version. And even it they weren't ~ it is simply time.
The End

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What's with missing the calls....?

http://rondafranklinbrokentograce.blogspot.com/ Broken to Grace - A novel & Memoirs

Publisher called my cell phone twice and my home phone twice, in a matter of 10 minutes. I wasn't home, and my cell phone was flashing red with a dying battery as I was standing in Starbucks at 2:30 while he was calling. I got home at 4:15 to 2 messages on my home phone. "Hi Ronda, this is Jeff calling again from WestBow Press/Thomas Nelson Publishing. Just trying to reach you again one last time before I leave the office for the day. Please call me back at...."

Won't you join me as I pray continually before I call them back tomorrow morning? And breathe, Ronda....God is good, all knowing, all sufficient...it is already written in His book.

God bless,

As was promised by another interest in this blog, as well as myself after...

This blog was described as not only a publicity site for my book, for awareness of Post-Traumatic Syringomyelia, but also as my walk through both of these things.

With that in mind as I sit here at 3:30AM not able to sleep I will share why I am not sleeping.

At 10:30PM last night my blood pressure dropped to an all-time low to date --- BP:73/37 Pulse: 69. As much as I did not want to fall asleep at these levels so I could continue to monitor myself - my body succumbed to sleep just after midnight. It is very hard, nearly impossible to keep yourself awake with such a low BP in conjunction with my pulse not increasing enough in an attempt to compensate for lack of blood flow.

I awoke at 2:30 AM, I suppose because my pulse increased during my short period of sleep. Up to 89. Not super high for some, but for me it is nearly 30 beats per minute above my norm. My pulse is religiously 60 - has been for years. On that thought, my BP has been until recently, religiously 120/60-70 for all of my adult life. Numbers that are considered "perfect".

Lately my pulse reaches up into the 120's - doing nothing truly physical to any stretch of the imagination.
On the topic of my BP - it can sometimes spike up to 140/80 in no time from numbers such as 80/44. A very big shock to my system, and in companion with a pulse increase to the number I listed above. This is the worst of circumstances for a few reasons - which I will not bore or burden you with at this point. Save to share the simplest of complications from when this occurs - I shake to near convulsions and become intensely nauseous.

So there you have a very recent update. I can happily say that at the moment I awoke to present time, I am at 80/45 with a now decreasing pulse to 77.

God bless each of you in this day ahead.

With love,

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Awaiting news from the publisher...

Instead of thinking about tomorrow - I'm focusing on today (but I have to really work at this!). Today definitely has enough worries of it's own. Live in the moment, stay in the moment. Dream and pray about tomorrow - but do not set your sites on things you do not know anything about.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Taking a POLL - vote vote vote for the cover photo.

Picture #1

Picture #2

Picture #3

The Cover of the book will have a photo of me, but I don't want it to be evidently me. It will be very subdued - and the rocks and the ocean are key. I have chosen these three because I'm not directly looking at the camera and you can't see my face much - if at all. The Title will be overlaid.

Please help in this decision - it's an important one! Vote by commenting to this post - thank you.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Final Edit going to publisher this week...Glory, glory, glory be to God.

Friends, at least the very few that I have on this site with me, I am elated - and near speechless as I watch this unfold these past few weeks. I'm trying to finalize a HUGE edit, as I now have a publisher asking and in waiting. That alone is a huge blessing and open door. Thank you to all who have, and continue to, do so much in the name of this book. Your feelings of inspiration turn back at me and serve to increase mine.

As I've said before ~

True inspiration is not found through solicitation.
Like love, it is given, recieved, and passed on.
Like love, inspiration is a gift ~ always share it or it dies with you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My medical condition: Post Traumatic Syringomyelia (PTS) of the Thoracic spine

            Post Traumatic Syringomyelia of the Thoracic Spine: PTS
Please understand that I threw this together right inside this 'box' in a matter of minutes; feeling that the time is now to share this information I chose to not take the time for formalities.

    "The worst news about PTS of the thoracic spine is there is no cure."

2% of the worlds population is diagnosed with PTS. The symptoms, treatments, and etiology are wholly different that any other type of Syringomyelia. I have copy and pasted the best, and most 'to-the-point' information I can find on this topic - which is not very good. I will find more over the coming weeks. I have been studying this with my neurologist for the past 10 years. I am doing this now for a few reasons. I want to spread awareness of this deadly condition; I want my friends and loved ones to understand better what I and my children are facing - and have been blessed enough to survive through these past 10 years; as well, spreading awareness will help not only with diagnoses, but it may save the lives of those with PTS in other area's of the spinal cord. Neuro-Surgery is sometimes an option with PTS of the Lumbar and Cervical area's of the spinal cord. The largest study I have found involved 16 patients - but life spans where too short, one surgery ended in immediate death, and the remaining patients deteriorated at different rates and died before any new conclusive findings could occur. However, it is known that the onset of cardiovascular malfunction is the most common and prominent signal of the late stages of PTS of the thoracic spine. I found out this past week that I am experiencing cardiovascular malfunction. It has been affecting me for quite sometime and was unfortunately misdiagnosed as an unrelated medical issue.

The type of PTS that I have, post-traumatic syringomyelia of the thoracic spine, is the deadliest with a 100% mortality rate to date. My onset was at age 30. The etiology: a severe motor vehicle accident at the age of 11 that caused a metal spike to enter into the right frontal lobe of my brain. It is very common, up to 90% of patients, for PTS to strike 5-20 years after the initial spinal or brain injury. Mine was 19 years after. Science is now seeing even longer dormant periods, or lapses of time, after the initiating trauma - up to 30 - 35 years.

PTS of the thoracic spine is closely related to ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) symptomatically and functionally. Knowing that may help people better understand this very poorly understood and even unkown condition. Most doctors I have come in contact with over the past 10 years know nothing about PTS. I have seen each one of them go on to personally research the condition after they are intrigued by what they learn from me medically - and then watch as they find the lack of available research as frustrating as the condition itself. I have been blessed to have an amazing neurologist with me since the onset of this 10 years ago. One of the best neurologists in the U.S.

I was forced by the Post Office and my neurologist to retire on my 32nd birthday back in 2002, assuming a very short and uncomfortable life expectancy thereafter. I truly feel blessed with all the time I have been given so far. God is amazing, and He has no medical time tables. Medical expenses are approximately $15,000 - $30,000/yr to "keep me going". A bill that is generously paid for through my retirement. However, the first two years where accompanied by approximately $100,000 in medical expenses that were never covered. A burden that remains on me and my children to this day.

I apologize for the rawness of this information. Consider this information not only raw in nature, but also only a very small dose of what we have personally learned over these past 10 years. But I think this will be sufficient at this time. I will add more later. I very much welcome, and even solicite your comments and questions.

Thank you for your time and God bless,

The information below I copy and pasted from WebMD

Some known Causes
■Motor vehicle accidents: 50%
■Violence (gunshot & stab wounds)
■Falls: Especially young < 16 and old > 45
■Sporting accidents: Diving > football & horseback riding

Clinical features
■Regions involved for me specifically
■C4 to C6
■Mortality: 1 year
■Paraplegia: 6% to 10%
■Quadriplegia: 30% to 40%
■Late complications
■CSF leak (spinal fluid)
~ Painful spasms: Especially with intercurrent infections

■Mechanical stabilization of whole spine in neutral position
■Airway maintenance
■Blood pressure
■Skin care
■Airway & shock management
■Spine stabilization
■ Agents to reduce cord damage if applicable:
Corticosteroids; Gangliosides; Naloxone....


~~~ Comments ~~~~
I have copy and pasted some posts from friends that were attached to this original note on my personal fB page. Thank you, my dear friends, for your love and support - you are all beautiful!

October 17 at 10:13am · Lori ~ Hi Ronda... thanks for the information and regarding the "raw"... it's not bad and maybe for some it will make it easier to understand. Praying for you sweet thing..

October 17 at 11:38am ·Lori  ~ Ronda.. you are loved... and prayed for... DAILY!!

October 17 at 6:34pm · Kelly  ~ You are loved....I can't wait to see you tomorrow!

October 17 at 6:59pm · Kellen  ~ ♥ you jessicas mommy!

October 17 at 9:23pm · Kim  ~ Ronda,
Thank you for sharing this...I know how hard it is to share something so private, but I'm glad you did so we can all get a better understanding of what you and your family are going thru. Similar to ALS?! Unfortunately, I know of that... disease first hand, Grandfather died of ALS and my father was mis-diagnosed with it (he doesn't have it, he just has Parkinson's and Alzheimers-oy). Terrible disease and my heart breaks, simply breaks for you. Can I swear? F*ck! Ok, that felt a little better. I'm sending you all my good vibes and prayers. Milo would like to deliver some goodies to you...are you available on Mondays?

October 17 at 9:49pm · Thomas  ~ I dont understand the severe cruelty of this condition. I find it so hard to understand why such a beautiful person is afflicted. All i can do is wonder why God allows such things to happen to you Ronda. I cannot help but feel slighted and cheated by God and angry. And yet you continue to go on without a tone of an accusitory manner. I dont know how you do it. My prayers for your health will continue and my friendship and adoration to you will be unwavering. I am truly sad. But happy and blessed by your friendship.

October 17 at 10:15pm ·Ronda Rae Franklin ~ @Thomas- you give me too much credit as always Thomas, and I love you for it and inspite of it. God allows things to happen for a reason that I do not need to understand to have peace with. I always have Joy from Him. He is always with me ...and He will not fail me. He is always steadfast, and always gives me all that I need. He knows all - and because I fully believe that I know I do not need to know all. I will continue on this path that is His for me, and do my best not to waiver too much. I pray my book touches many lives. That is why it was written. God bless you dear friend. You hold a special place in my heart.

October 17 at 10:25pm · Janine  ~ I have been trying to wrap my head around this. Not the facts and figures of the disease. But that those apply to you. Facts and figures are for people we don't know and love! Crappy things are supposed to happen to "other people" (yes ...I get that those people have others that love them, too....but moving on...). But I must say that I am truly in awe of you. You are such a positive, steadfast, God loving woman in the face of such adversity. How could I not be? I can only pray that I learn from your beautiful example of how life should be lived. To let go of that which cannot be controlled...I am so glad I am able to call you my friend!!!!

October 17 at 11:24pm · Kelli  ~ Ronda, you are in my families thoughs and prayers. You are a beautiful person inside and out and we are here for you and your children. Lots of love to you. I will be in touch today! HUGS!!!! Kelli and Family xoxoxo

October 18 at 7:56am · Kelly  ~ Oh Ronda - this is so mind numbing... Thank you for posting this info - not that it helps to understand the reasons this is happening to you :0( sending prayers and love your way...

October 18 at 8:18am · Mary-Pat ~ Ronda......I had no idea......my thoughts and prayers are with you always--your faith and courage are an inspiration and gift to many--thanks for sharing with us--blessings to you

October 18 at 9:21am · Joe  ~ After reading your note several times, I can't help but be moved.
Raw is good in a de-sensitized world. In short, for me its a call to appreciate the beauty of life and a reminder not to take anything for granted. Even for those of us who have the hope of Heaven, we struggle with news like this. It goes from words on a page to, what do I really believe? You've said it before- Love never fails, and its His love that sees us through these times.
I imagined myself in your shoes for a moment, my heart breaks. Sure, for all the obvious reasons but also its convicting, for a lot of wasted moments.
You have and continue to put yourself 'out there'. There will be those who take it to heart and those who hear and don't. Like the Gospel, the importance of the message is determined by our response or lack of response to it.
I bear your burdens- together in Christ and I am so thankful to share these times with you. God has prepared you for such a time as this. If trials refine us then you are going to shine the brightest!

October 18 at 9:54am Jenny  ~ This totally breaks my heart but my faith knows that you are an OVERCOMER! and the Word says, " to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it. "

Christ is the cornerstone and you have received him. His ministration of Grace now works through you to minister to others! Thanks be to God. You are a rawness Goddess and we are with you through this with LOVE. ♥

 Hi Ronda,
Your smile lights up every photo...a sign of the peace, presence and goodness of God. And all the more miraculous given the trials that you face. I am blessed to know you and inspired anew to live each day with joy and thanksgiving to the Living Lord. steve

Sheli   Ronda- I feel like I am finding you all over again and am very grateful. I am a cardiothoracic nurse, and I have never heard of this. So, thank you for sharing this "raw" information....knowledge breeds intelligence...sending you many hugs across the miles.

  • Broken to Grace ~ The Novel by Ronda Rae Franklin
    Thank you, Sheli. It's comments like yours, the not knowing even in the medical community, that makes this so important to me. Like you said, but in a different way, Knowledge sheds light and takes away fears.
    Isn't it funny how life truly does circle around and bring us back to certain places and certain people. There is a reason for everything. Even this.

  • Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Authors Note - synopsis...

    "This is my testimony - my testimony of faith and lack thereof; of the rising and falling of hopes and dreams; of beliefs and disbeliefs; of tremendous heartache and human folly; of reaching out and stepping out when all I want at times is to is pull back and step away. This book is for believers of Christ – as well as non-believers. There are truths in these pages for every man and woman. Some of the truths will seem impossible, incomprehensible, invigorating, heart-wrenching, gut-churning, and amazing. These are my trials and truths that I pass on with love for all of mankind, and with the utmost hope that the words within this book will touch and inspire even the hardest of hearts to the softest of spirits, the humblest of humans to those filled with hatred and hurt. The most righteous in Christ’s name, the poorest, the wealthiest, the most lost and the found – may you each find a truth, a teaching, or a story within these words that will grab onto you and change your life in some grand or small fashion."
    Ronda Rae Franklin
    "Broken to Grace"