May 26, 2022 Latest post:
Jun 27, 2022
It is with a very heavy heart that I start this page to honor the greatest woman I have ever (or will ever) know: Judith Ann McArthur (daughter, sister, wife, mother, and her proudest title "Mamo") "Ms. Judy"
Backstory: Early in March we found out that my Dad (Dale McArthur) had prostrate cancer. We were all very concerned not only because of the cancer itself, but because of the liver transplant from 2010 which caused great worriment to us all. The last year and a half have been of great stress for my mom while being mugged, finding out her beloved younger brother had cancer, spending most of the Covid lockdown and then some in Florida caring for him, coming home then shortly after he passed, dealing with estate, this most recent diagnosis for my dad, etc.
On March 17th, mom went to her monthly card club where she just didn't feel well. Her stomach was hurting and she didn't feel like eating. We all attributed it to something she ate or stress that if you know her, you know she hides and is ALWAYS the ROCK for us all. She just couldn't get over the stomach cramps and nausea in the weeks to come. She went to see their personal doctor twice and everyone just thought it was some sort of stomach issue. She was referred to a GI doctor, which thankfully Dad had already made the appointment because it took 3 weeks to get. She saw the GI doctor on May 13th and was referred for a CT Scan, but told if she felt any worse to go to the Emergency Room.
On Sunday, May 15th, Dad talked mom into going to the ER where they quickly did a CT Scan. The doctor came in and sat with mom and Dad and told them that he believed there was cancer in her colon and throughout several places in her GI Tract. He was going to admit her to the hospital and turn her over to the GI team. This came out of nowhere and shocked them to the core. Mom religiously follows all doctors orders with exams, tests, etc. No warnings or early signs whatsoever! On Monday we were prepping Dad for his surgery which was Tuesday morning at a hospital across town. I headed to the hospital to see mom after work and she was going to break the news to me while at the same time Dad was going to share with Jon over the phone. Added to the crazy, Jon was quarantined in his home with 3/4 of his family having Covid.
On Tuesday, May 17th, Dad had surgery to remove his tumor and prostate. I was with him at Piedmont hospital while friends of the family stayed with mom. After I got Dad in his room to recover, I left him and went back to Kennestone hospital to be with Mom. That evening, they started doing all kinds of biopsies, tests, blood work, etc.
Over the next few days, Jon's family came out of quarantine and were able to help with Dad coming home and his recovery. He is doing great and getting stronger. Unfortunately, every time a doctor walked in the room to see mom we got more bad news. As each result came back, we found out that there was more cancer in her GI tract and possibly multiple kinds. They added a PICC line where we were able to administer something called a TPN which was giving her body some nourishment because she could not eat without getting very sick and causing extreme pain. After just a few days, the doctors requested a transfer to the Oncology deparment of the hospital. We were hoping Mom would get stronger and we could start chemo and fight this cancer. I regret to say that as quick as we were receiving hope it was being taken away even faster.
Last night (5/24/22), all four of us were together in mom's oncology unit room when the doctors came in to talk to us about next steps. She has become so weak and the multiple kinds of cancer are in so many places that we had some big decisions to make. We were so blessed to be there together and support mom in making her next step choices. Her biggest goal is to make sure that we are taken care of (not a surprise if you know my mom at all) and that we do not see her suffer. The decision was made to move her to the Tranquility House (Wellstar Community Hospice). Here she will receive loving care that will keep her comfortable as long as we can. The ultimate goal is to get her stronger (eat something) so that we can take her home with hospice care. Until then, we get to love her all the way home along with the staff at the center and keep her out of pain and nausea. The good news is that the grandkids can come and spend time with her whenever they want while here. They are her complete world as Jon and I were when we were growing up.
Our world is spinning out of control as this has all happened so fast without any warning. We honestly have not hidden anything from anyone. We didn't know either. We are shocked. It just proves to love with your whole heart each and every day and appreciate every moment you have with those you hold dear. I thank God that I was raised in a family with such a strong faith led by not only both of my parents, but my grandparents as well. I know that we will see each other again one day. Until then, this sting is real.
We covet your prayers and support during this time. Mom has requested that she has no visitors unless she asks you to come visit. She has not taken phone calls or FaceTime from anyone except her grandkids in several weeks. We have read her every message that we have received and she loves you all big. Please support us and respect her last wishes to just be with our immediate family.
She will have access to this page and read your comments, prayers and love. And when she doesn't feel like it, we will read them to her.