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4/17/2017 Latest post:
Good morning. I hope everyone had a safe, enjoyable and blessed Easter. For those of you who don't know me I'm Carol's son Dave, the oldest of three. Beth and Karen being my two younger, and much better looking siblings. Mom has had several underlying health conditions for some time now. She is a private person so many of you may not have know what is going on. I am not a doctor so I will do my best to explain. This is our mom's story. A number of years ago mom was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer. It is a cancer that one can live with but over a period of time it will start to take it's toll on the body's organs. Mom's lungs were the first to be affected. She developed COPD and relies on oxygen to keep up her active lifestyle. For those of you who know mom you know that this really didn't slow her down. It just made her more determined. Within the past year mom's kidneys started to shutdown and she requires dialysis 3 times a week. Once again did this slow her down? Maybe just a smidge. Last year she made the journey to New Mexico for my youngest sister's wedding. Oxygen and all she made the trip, stopping only for the occasional bathroom break and dialysis. Not sure I could have done that but then I'm not her. Let's fast forward to this year. Because of the COPD mom has been susceptible to pneumonia. Since January she has been in and out of the hospital numerous times battling pneumonia. It hangs on and everytime it just seems to get a little worse. This last time she was in the hospital they found a "shadow" on one of her lungs. Because of mom's age and her medical history doing a biopsy was not an option. Through a series of non-evasive tests they were able to conclude that it was cancer but that it didn't appear to be growing. When we would ask mom about it she would reply "well they don't know for sure that it's cancer". Being stubborn she did not want chemotherapy or radiation. During the past month or so now mom has been experiencing a series of TIA's. The layperson calls them "mini strokes" and I apologize to the medical professionals out there. TIA's occur and present themselves with the signs and symptoms of a stroke but they do not show up on scans. The TIA's have become more frequent and more difficult for mom to recover from. The doctors feel that the TIA's are a direct result of the tumors. Yesterday morning mom suffered a major stroke which left her unable to speak but she was able to nod yes or no. She was able to respond by opening her eyes and squeeze our hands. By the grace of God the entire family was there at the hospital to celebrate her birthday and Easter with her so she got to spend time visiting with us kids, her grandkids and great grandkids. Earlier this morning before I sat down to compose mom's story I was informed that she had a good night but was no longer responsive. Prior to this morning mom made it known that she was tired. She was tired of fighting. She was tired of not being able to be active and do the things she enjoys. She was tired of being in the hospital. But in spite of all of this there was no way she was going into a nursing home! After long conversations with the health care professionals, conversations amongst ourselves and lots prayer we have come to the decision to place mom in hospice for her remaining physical time with us here on Earth. It is one of the most difficult decisions I hope that no one has to make. People ask the question "how long?" Medicine is not an exact science. Often times they can tell what it isn't, not what it is. It may be a day, a week, or a month. Only one person knows that. Let me finish this story by saying that to a certain degree I dislike Facebook. I find it filled with what I call "pity posts". We're not looking for pity and I know that mom isn't either. At most there may be a link to this page on Facebook. Please keep mom and the rest of us in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate through this crisis until such a time as mom is reunited with dad and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who died so that we may live again.