Roxanne passed away this morning after a long and brave battle with cancer. She was loved by many people all over the world but especially here in Sonoma County. RIP little sister.
My Story in Brief
At the end of Oct 2016 I went to the emergency room due to pain from what I thought might be my gall bladder. After some scans a nurse handed me a report explaining that, yes, my gall bladder was a serious issue. Scans also revealed that I had Breast Cancer which had metasized to several locations in my body. You can imagine that this was quite a shock. However, God gave me grace and deep peace in that moment just to sit in His presence and commune with His Spirit.
This unexpected journey has included radiation to treat cancerous spots in my brain. As a result I have permanent hair loss. Initially I was treated with chemotherapy and other cancer killing drugs. Over the years, I have received countless infusions, MRIs, CT scans, echocardiograms, more radiation and the like. The first six months were especially rough but it did get easier after I finished the most aggressive chemo. There was lovely support from many others and from my faith in God’s loving presence. Gradually I got into routines of going to oncology and learned to cope with it all and enjoy life.
But then, last summer, my ‘Her2positive breast cancer’ diagnosis changed to a far worse diagnosis; "XXXnegative". I did not know cancer could change. There were quite a few consultations with various specialists about new treatments for XXXNegative. After consulting with these various oncology specialists the potential treatment plan they laid out would include endless chemo along with more radiation. These treatments would have dire side effects and might not be effective. I felt that all this would severely impact my quality of life and possibly not even extend it.
After prayerful consideration I discerned that it would be for the best for me to refuse treatment completely. With that in heart and mind, a great sense of relief flooded me. A visit to a (new to me) Christian doctor affirmed that I had the right to choose my treatment or to stop treatment. I felt supported by this doctor's acceptance and understanding of my choice. Another doctor introduced the idea of going on hospice. This surprised me because I was feeling fine and, like many, I thought that was only for the very end death-bed scene.
Going on hospice, for over 5 months now, has been a comforting and supportive experience. Warm accepting, gentle people with only my best interest in mind visit me at home. No more trips to medical offices, scans and countless consultations. My hospice team come to my home and help me to deal with my, at this point, rather minor aches and pains. They also put plans in place for future possibilities. I feel quite grateful for all they do and secure that all will be done to meet my physical and emotional needs moving forward with comfort care.
I feel like a walking miracle because it has been ages since I have had any treatment and I feel quite well, apart from those minor aches and pains!
I am also blessed with a team of 4 who support me closely in many ways, including my sister and three friends all of whom came to the ER on that day over 3 years ago when I was initially diagnosed.
At this stage I remain independent and capable of taking care of myself (and my *16 year old miniature schnauzer, *Peeta- Bonita). However, none of us knows what the future holds. My health could break down and my minor aches become debilitating. For this reason I'm turning to Caringbridge now.
Just in case, as I need it, I would be grateful for people who would be willing to help with tasks like shopping, laundry, cooking, and walking *Peeta-Bonita and of course praying! I know that many people already pray for me and have been from the start - THANK YOU!
Also, if you want to learn more about my life and perhaps be a little bit entertained, here is a link to my blog.https://perigrinatia.wordpress.com