We love and miss you, Barb.

Barb Garren-Stratman

First post: Apr 28, 2017 Latest post: Jul 8, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website.  We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. John, Barb and Ben

Around the first of April I began tests to investigate a significant amount of weight loss.  After blood analysis, ultrasounds, x-rays, CT scan, colonoscopy and liver biopsy, I was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal pancreatic cancer.   So I'm now adjusting to the new fork in the road -- a direction I didn't necessarily choose, but will try to walk with grace and good humor.

Today I  began taking a drug to sensitize me to my chemo treatments which begin this coming Monday and will continue every week for the immediate future.  This treatment is not meant to be a cure, but hopefully will slow or stop futher growth and extend my time and quality of life with family and friends.   The chemo will be something I do in conjunction with homeopathic treatment.   I'm trying to find a balanced response between the potential harsh side effects of traditional medicine and the healing influence of natural and spiritual remedies and practice.

The UM medical staff have been fantastic.  Thank you all for being so kind, helpful, and generous with your time.    I want to especially thank my PCP of 20+ years, Dr. Connie Standiford.  Connie exemplifies what it means to be a healer -- to see a patient as an individual, a human being.  She understands my urgencies and priorities.  We have been through so much together.  Words can never express my love and gratitude.

As I told my son, we are allowed tears, anger, rage -- whatever -- and then we move forward with love, and laughter, and as much normalcy as possible.  You are sharing in my life story which I'm living word by word, line by line, chapter by chapter, until I turn the page.  I will not look to see how the story ends...it's never what you think.  

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