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June
4
2019

Her Journey - Her Way: June 3, 2019

Mom departed this world on June 2, 2019.  She left on her own terms, in her own time.  We are broken hearted for us and glad that she has wings.

Much Love,

Sharon

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May
31
2019

The Long Road Home - May 31, 2019

I've changed the background on Mom's page to a road in Dublin, GA.  Mom's life has been a journey that began in Lauren's County/Dublin, GA.  She loves her southern roots and has spent the majority of her adult life hanging on to that past; avoiding the modern world.

I realize that I haven't posted since March.  Where does time go?  Mom completed her cancer treatment while staying at Life Care.  She returned home on April 25th, despite the objections of her physical therapy team.  She loved them but she wanted to be at her house.  In typical mom fashion, she pitched a fit and they released her.

On May 19th mom fell and broke her right hip.  She doesn't remember the fall.  She was transported to the local hospital and then moved to Hendersonville where her ortho group is located.  They could not do surgery on her until Tuesday afternoon because they were working to get her blood values where they had to be.  Mom survived the surgery only to awaken and hear that she had to be completely non-weight bearing on her right leg for a minimum of four weeks.  She just couldn't face that recovery.  Her words were "I have been through too much and I am too tired."  Mom made a very clear decision to be moved to hospice care so that for the first time in many years her pain could be controlled.  It also became apparent that Sunday wasn't the first time she had fallen since returning home.

She arrived at the Elizabeth House in Hendersonville on Sunday, May 26th.  As they began the work of controlling her pain she began to slip away from us.  She is currently comfortable, though they are still adjusting medications to find a great balance for her.  As difficult as this is, we just want it to be easier for her.  She asked me if I was okay with her decision and I told her that all of this sucks but that I am committed to respecting that decision and making sure that she has her final choices honored.

We wish this part of the journey on no one but she brought us into this world and we will see that she leaves it on her own terms and without pain.

With Love, 

Sharon

March
22
2019

March 22, 2019 An Eventful Week!

It happened!  We visited the cancer center on Wednesday and mom was able to get her mold made in preparation for her treatment!  There are so many answered prayers around that day, including having staff that was friendly and encouraging for her.  We are now waiting to hear when she can begin her treatment.  The treatments are in cycles, which means that we have to wait for someone to finish a cycle before she can begin.  At this point, mom is staying put at Life Care.  She realizes that she needs to build her strength, partly because she wants to do well when she does go home, and also because she needs to be able to rest during her treatment.  The current plan is that she will stay through the treatment.  She is working super hard with PT in the last two days and "being a good patient."  :) 

We so appreciate the prayers and good wishes.  I hope each of you gets a taste of spring this weekend.

Much Love,

Sharon

March
20
2019

March 19, 2019

The last week has been busy and rough. Mom went to have her second vertebroplasty on March 11th and ended up being admitted to the hospital. The procedure sent her into a loop of uncontrolled pain, followed by an exacerbation of COPD.  On Thursday, March 14, we had her transferred to Life Care for rehabilitation and strengthening.  We chose Life Care because she got good care there in 2016 and because we hope to navigate her cancer care from there.

The weekend was long and involved changing rooms but we are on a good path and her spirits are good tonight as she waits for her appointment in the morning for the making of her mold.  This mold will allow her to undergo cyberknife therapy for cancer.

Tonight we realize how fortunate we are to have navigated this road as well as we have.  Bad days have (thus far) turned around, one at a time, and we keep moving forward.  We'll take all the prayers you have as we journey tomorrow with hearts excited and terrified.  If she can stand to have the mold made then her chances of obtaining treatment are grea

February
27
2019

February 26, 2019 - A Breakthrough

We give thanks for the news that mom's cancer hasn't spread.  It remains a spot in her right lung, for which we are grateful.  Mom has attained good pain control over the last week. She is able to sleep through the night (and so are Steve and me).  Last week Steve had a stay at the VA to battle flu.  He is home and doing much better.

Today we visited the radiology oncologist and he has cleared mom for SABR (Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy)! I'm not going to begin to explain the treatment, other than to say it isn't typical radiation therapy, so she shouldn't experience burning of her skin, etc.  She could have her mold made as early as next week and begin four treatments over two weeks.  Yes, a total of four.  We are hopeful this will eradicate her cancer for quite some time.  This treatment is not without challenges and possible side effects, so we ask for continued prayers around treatment, pain control and whatever side effects we may see.  

God is providing room for healing.  God is providing room for difficult conversations.  We believe that the power of prayer has kept this tumor in check and isolated.  We give thanks to our God for those truths.

We will update as we begin treatment.

Much Love,

Sharon

February
16
2019

February 16, 2019


Two weeks have gone by either super fast or unbelievably slow - depending on your perspective.  Mother continued to have uncontrolled pain in her spine. On February 4th we visited a doctor with a Neuro Intervention group and made a decision for her to undergo Vertebroplasty on two of her spinal compression fractures. That was accomplished on Friday, February 8th, as an outpatient procedure. Friday night when we took her supper she was able to stand almost straight up!  Her pain was tolerable, though she continues to complain of left ribcage pain.  She had a pretty good week until Thursday night when her pain began again.  We spent half of Friday in the ER, repeating a CT and being told that she has another compression fracture (T3).  We know that her degenerative spinal disease is bad. We don't know if any of that issue is now exacerbated by her cancer.  Her primary care MD has been very helpful in the last couple of weeks with pain control.  We have good support around us with her neighbors, our local friends, and family.  Tomorrow, mom has her second PET scan to see if her cancer has spread.

Our prayer requests are:

That she is able to sleep, each night, for at least a few hours.  If she doesn't sleep, neither does Steve and he is still currently her day to day primary care support. We may also have to rethink their living arrangements sooner, rather than later, and we need loads of prayer around all of that.

For the PET scan results to reveal that she still has a treatment option of Cyberknife Therapy.  It is her only real option and she is currently agreeing that she will exercise that option if it is available.

For renewed energy - always.

Much Love,

Sharon

February
1
2019

January 31, 2019

It has been a rough week. Last Friday we had mom in the ER in Hendersonville to address uncontrolled pain in her spine.  On Saturday night we were in the ER in Brevard for the same reason.  She got through until Tuesday when she had several appointments. Wanda drove her to Hendersonville to meet Phil and I.  We had a surgical consult (about the lung cancer) because mother wanted to verify whether she might have any surgery options.  The MD advised us that mother is not a surgical candidate.  There are several factors that play into that determination but bottom line is that the risks outweigh any benefit.  We then visited with a palliative care pain specialist.  She suggested some medication adjustments to give mother some pain relief pending us getting an appointment for her spine.  That was followed by a brain CT.  Mother can't lay flat because of her spine - so that was pretty rough for her.  All that said, Tuesday night she was able to sleep in her recliner from about midnight to 7 am.  This was the first night that mother has slept through the night in several months.   Wednesday was much better.  Today has been off and on but the palliative care doc has recommended some adjustments.

Tomorrow mother has a CT of her thoracic spine, in anticipation of an appointment on Monday to discuss kyphoplasty.  We know that mother has at least seven compression fractures in her spine.  We are told this procedure - putting cement in the disc to expand it - would give her some long term pain relief.  

We ask for continued prayers for pain relief, restful nights, and medical staff that are patient and caring.

January
19
2019

Update and Prayer Request

We didn't update over November and December because, well, life was busy and mom has had a very difficult time.  Mom has several compression fractures in her spine (her bones are not great) and she developed muscle spasms, also in her spine.  Pain control was non-existent most days.  She is working through some of that but the last two days have been super painful for her.  We ask for prayers around the pain she is experiencing.

Mother uses oxygen intermittently during the day and always at night.  We had a pulmonary visit last week and, per her request, he has referred her to an oncologist.  Mother is currently not interested in treatment but wants to talk about life on life's terms and her prognosis.  As you can imagine, we take each day as it comes.  As I tell mom, each day is a struggle but we are respecting her right to make choices.  We ask for prayers as we make that visit next Wednesday.  Prayers for strength, prayers for time, prayers for peace.

Much Love,

Sharon