Barb Puffer

First post: Mar 2, 2016 Latest post: Apr 15, 2016
First and foremost my family and I would like to thank those of you who have sent prayers and well wishes for Mom. Mom and Dad have agreed that this account will  keep all her closest friends and relatives updated on her condition and progress.
I will start from the beginning.  Mom was feeling not quite herself when she and Dad returned from their month long trip to Florida.  They got back into town the 2nd week of February and Mom jumped right back into life.
February 15,  2016 dad sent us a text to let us know he was taking mom to the hospital for some test. Mom hadn't been able to keep food in, she was having abdominal pains and she was dehydrated.  The hospital did a CT on her abdomen, drew some labs, gave her some IV fluids and sent her on her way.  The next morning Matt responds to the group text to inquire how mom was feeling..... Dad's response: "Yea.  Not good. Mom's results show a mass in her pancreas and blockage near her liver."     

Life was forever changed in that moment.

Within a few hours, Me, Matt and Andy would arrive in Chillicothe to meet mom and dad.  I met them at the house and the sadness was palatable. We headed to the hospital where we met up with Matt and Andy.  We had an appointment with Dr Gul, a gastrointestinal doc, to review mom's CT scans. The scans showed a mass in the pancreas, a dark spot on the liver and a blockage to the kidney.  We left that appointment with an appointment to get a stent placed the next morning and in complete SHOCK. We all spent the evening at mom and dads in some unknown state of being. No one sleeps!

The next morning as we are heading out, the septic decides it would be a fine time to back up.  I guess to give us an indication as to how this day would go.  Mom gets checked in for her procedure and we take turns sitting with her before she goes back.  The procedure went well.

Doc came out to talk to all of us and reports that the stent was placed.  He also informed us that he is placing an urgent call/referral to the James at OSU.  There is a mass pushing against the kidney opening, and he believes that it has spread to other organs.  Best case scenario at this point is surgery.
The Puffer's-5 head home and Andy fixes dinner.  Mom is hungry.  Strange for just the 5 of us to be sitting around the dinner table and sharing so many memories.

2/18/16 - early wake up.  We are heading to OSU.  Mom is in great spirits and ready to take this head on. Most of you know my mother, but those that do not, this will be a theme. She is the most beautiful, positive, loving person you could ever be lucky enough to know. Just ask my dad and brothers.  They will agree with me 100%. 

The 5 of us arrived at OSU at 8:15am.  We would be meeting with Dr Eldika, who would be performing a biopsy and Endoscopic Ultra Sound. The wait that day was excruciating.  Dad was beside himself that it was mom back there and not him. After the procedure, Dr. Eldika met with us.  He suspects surgery is not an option.  There is a mass is in the liver and the pancreas and is confident it is cancer.   Now we wait.  

Each day seems to be getting harder.  There is no sense of time or reality. The love and kindness that surrounds us all is overwhelming and yet comforting. I am grateful.

The weekend brought much relief to our heavy hearts.  All 7 grandkids  and family converged upon my parent's home. (I was most happy to have my kids home for a day from VT & MA).  Saturday was beautiful. Mom was feeling good and was doing better keeping food in, since the stent was placed, and her meds were helping to control her abdominal pain.  She sat outside, took naps with her grandkids, and had lovely visits with her dearest friends, neighbors and co-workers. 

2/22/16 Dr Eldika called to confirm what we already new.  Mom has pancreatic cancer and it has spread into other organs. He is making a referral to a pancreatic oncologist at the James.
We were scheduled for 2/29/16 with Dr. Mikhail.  Mom remains hopeful.

What a long week awaiting the appointment, but it did give us time to breathe which was good because what we were about to hear was devastating.

Mom has Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

We have a plan in place and will begin more testing and chemo in the next couple of weeks.

We have all been by her side supporting her and Dad. There has been more laughter and we have cried more tears than I think we ever have. Mom continues to stay in good spirits and plans on sticking around for at least another 10 years. THE WOMAN IS AMAZING!

Mom is the least selfish and most caring person you will ever meet. Everyone that meets her just loves her.  Even the hospital registration nurse gave her a hug and commented on what a beautiful smile she had as she was getting her picture taken during check in. 

I am going to take the liberty to speak for my mom.  She loves and appreciates each and every one of you and loves hearing all of the kind words and well wishes. The rest of my family would also like to say thank you for all of the kindness, generosity, love and support that has surrounded us over the last couple of weeks. 

Keep sending prayers, positive thoughts, loving energy and good vibes. I will do my best to keep you updated on her progress and I ask that you all keep posting your well wishes, thoughts and stories. Thank you again from deep in my heart.

With Love,
Kim and the rest of the Puffer family

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