Joan Vidak

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.      I am writing this first journal entry on behalf of my youngest sister Joan.  What started out to be a cough and malaise ( and treatment for pneumonia) in September ended up being the beginning of a month long journey of tests, doctor visits and scans leading to a diagnosis of stage four lung cancer that has spread to her spine and hips.  This has been a sudden change in health for Joan as she was feeling her energetic self only a few months ago in the summer.  There have been many moments of not knowing which way to turn; this is one of the hardest parts of the journey.  Wouldn’t we all follow our paths eagerly if we just knew the wisest and best way to go.  Joan has felt this acutely, but from the beginning, we saw God’s gentle hand leading the way.  For example, a kind and sharp-minded nurse practitioner in the ER told us her husband’s amazing terminal cancer recovery story; that gave Joan a glimmer of hope.  She recommended Duke or Vanderbilt.  Joan called her Blue Cross Insurance and was told Duke was not covered.  But a physician assistant in another doctor’s office also mentioned Duke. This led Joan to persist with a call to Duke.  Lo and behold she was covered by BCBS after all.  She not only was able to get an appointment with Duke within a week, but was offered a not yet FDA approved cutting edge drug for her type of cancer- a drug not offered here in Asheville.   AND…….it is going to be free.  What a lesson to us in a very tangible way that God hears our hearts and is always going before us to lead and guide. 

     While this is good news and the drug offers the best hope for tumor reduction and bone pain relief, the symptoms of nagging thoracic bone and hip pain are unrelenting.  Good sleep is evasive.  Fatigue has become Joan’s “mean girl” best friend.  She will use crutches for the time being to keep weight off her fragile hips until a decision is made about radiation for the bone tumors-and/or the drug reduces the tumors. 

Thank all of you who have brought over meals, walked/fed Bentley, taken Joan to a doctor’s appointment, prayed and said a kind word.  It matters…. a lot…and is so greatly appreciated!  We hope this site will allow you to know how to pray and support Joan on this difficult journey…while allowing her the rest she needs to heal.


With gratitude to you and trust is our heavenly Father,

Joan’s sister, Anne


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