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In March of this year, Kim determined that her cold symptoms lasted too long, and she went to see a doctor. Over a series of months, various medical providers treated her for cold, flu, pneumonia, chest wall pain (pleurisy), mammogram for the chest wall pain, and eventually a CT scan revealed that part of her lung was collapsed and that there was a mass. Her cancer insurance sent her immediately to a cancer center, and since part of her family was in Atlanta, she chose the center near Atlanta and travelled there in July. After several tests, a biopsy, PET scan, and surgery to artificially and permanently inflate her lung, the doctor orally declared that she had mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lung that arises from breathing in asbestos 10-12 years earlier). His intended plan of action was to remove her left lung and rebuild her diaphragm, and she would live with only one lung. The average life expectancy of mesothelioma after surgery is 9-18 months. With that in mind, Kim decided that since she may need help after the surgery during her recuperation time, she and the boys would move to Atlanta and live with family and accept their help until if and when she got better. It was a really quick move, because school was about to start in both states. The boys enrolled in school and everything was proceeding according to schedule.
On the day of her pre-op in September, she declared that the doctor told her that she was cancer-free, so she and the boys were joyfully returning to Tennessee and their normal lives. Only nothing was normal. She remained in great pain, her condition worsened, and she spent more than a week in the hospital. More tests, biopsy and treatments and a diagnosis that her cancer spread to her liver, adrenal glands, pancreas, and abdomen and her ribs were deteriorating. She was sent home with morphine and a plan for radiation and maybe chemotherapy, but only as a treatment for her pain.
Her sons, Hunter and Joshua are in 4th and 5th grade. Since their mom became ill more than a year ago, they have been handling adult responsibilities and have seen to their own care and meals and now have watched this rapid deterioration. Their dad and Kim's husband, Michael, died in a car accident more than 7 years ago and Kim has been parenting solo ever since. Kim's own parents died well before the two boys were born.
Kim's neighbor and friend has kindly shepherded Kim to doctor appointments and ensured there was food in the house for the boys so that they could prepare it at mealtime (either through her own preparation or through donations from friends and church members). She has reached the end of her capacity and cannot both take Kim to the doctor and ensure the kids are cared for. Kim does not want the boys to watch her deteriorate more, and she does not want to come to Atlanta for treatment. She has pleaded that the boys go this week to Atlanta to be cared for by family there (two sisters-in-law and a mother-in-law live there). Kim's intention is to undergo radiation treatment in Tennessee for two weeks and return to her home alone every day. At the end of two weeks, she will evaluate whether to go into hospice in Tennessee. We have begged, reasoned and prayed that she would chose to be in the same city as her kids when she gets treatment, but she does not want that to happen. She is adamant that she does not want to have treatments in Atlanta and that she wants to undergo treatment in Tennessee and be in her own home, where she is familiar and comfortable. In the end, we have to honor her wishes and continue to pray.
Will you join us in prayer?
If you are local, will you reach out to her?
We will post a list of what the boys and Kim needs later.