Carol Hamstra One day at a time...

First post: Aug 27, 2022 Latest post: Dec 20, 2023
Hi, my name is Trish and I am going to document some of the stories for Carol and Bev as they unfold in the days and weeks ahead. If you are reading this, you are likely here because of deep love and respect for Carol and/or admiration for Bev and Lindsey and their unwavering care for their dear friend. 

In early July 2022, Carol was battling fatigue and not feeling like her spunky self. Initially, the Doctors were concerned and ran a battery of tests. I received this text from Carol on July 7th, 2022: "Trish just letting you know prayers were answered and God is good all the time. The test finally came back and it showed that I do not have cancer or multiple myeloma." We were full of gratitude and it felt as if the summer could finally begin. But unfortunately, Carol did not continue to feel better.

Bev was able to head to Washington to be with her family for a vacation in July and Carol spent some time with Phil at the lake. It was a sweet time for both of them. Upon returning from a brief getaway, Carol had a dermatology appointment and was quickly referred to oncology and diagnosed with stage IV melanoma. The Oncologists were responsive and appointments came about quickly. Carol and Bev again spoke freely about God's goodness. They were told by the Doctors that treatment could be via medication and great relief set in. 

But the relief did not last long as Carol continued to feel poorly. Between bone pain, fever, aches, and fatigue, something still wasn't right. After a few days in the hospital and with the hope of feeling better upon getting home, days were still difficult. And yet Bev and Carol kept navigating life the best they could. Carol moved to Bev's house, where she remains for now, so she can have round-the-clock care. Through all this uncertainty, texts like this one demonstrate their commitment to living life one hour at a time sometimes. 

August 9 I received this text: Carol had a pretty good day today. She is now using an amigo electric card to get around the neighborhood. We walk the dog together. And Ran up to Ken’s store. She is very tired now. Tomorrow is the PET scan/ Friday is The oncologist appointment. We will keep u informed.🙏🏼

Friday August 12:Trish it has been a difficult day. I got unexpected news that even the Drs were surprised . I have lymphoma a blood cancer. Now I have been transferred to another Dr who specializes in lymphoma. I will see her next Wednesday. I also need to go back to the melanoma surgeon and get the melanoma cleaned up. I also need to get another needle biopsy to get a lymph node. Right now they alluded that I will need heavy-duty chemo to fight this. It has been disappointing news but I have to trust God has a plan and he will always be by my side no matter how hard things get.

And so the diagnosis has become clear and the struggle has been real. The pain can go from very well controlled to very hard to manage. Carol’s strength can go from up and around to very weak. The days have been unpredictable and the nights have been restless. 
This past Monday, the stage IV melanoma was cleaned up in a procedure that was also combined with removal of the lymph node and the insertion of the chemo port. Carol shared tonight with tears in her eyes, her deep gratitude that she did not have any nausea after this surgical procedure this past Monday. This was a huge relief and Carol names it as something she is very grateful for in this past week!
Stay tuned for more updates soon!