Brenda’s Story

Site created on July 20, 2019

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Brenda Hopkins Cox

Hello friends and family. We apologize on how long it has taken to get an update out on my mother. This is her son, Peyton. For those who are not aware we were informed that my mom would be taken out of the medical trial she was a part of at Northwestern. The treatment was unsuccessful in shrinking any of the tumors and over the course of the trial the cancer had grown. We were informed of this last month on 3/14 when my mom and I traveled to Chicago together. Her doctor told us of other trials that are available if we could get her blood levels up, so we waited a couple weeks to try to let her levels recover on their own (as the trial medication lowered her levels, we hoped discontinuing would bring her numbers up). Unfortunately, over this time her blood counts got worse, so the next step was a blood transfusion (received around April 1st) which did bring the numbers up. We received the results of the labs last week and are having a over the phone meeting with her doctor at Northwestern tomorrow. As of the past week, my moms’ pain is about the same but she is sleeping much better due to some new medications. As for now and the future my mom may not be responding to texts often because she rests and sleeps for much of the day. She is also a little loopier these days from the Morphine which makes it hard for her to focus and causes hallucinations.

During this time that we have been trying to get my moms numbers up to be admitted into a new trial we have ran into many other obstacles. Over the past month moms’ pain has gone to a level that I can only describe as excruciating. The pain killers she is on seem to do very little even as we increase dosages. The pain has exhausted her, and it has exhausted my family. It is a constant fight against the pain as we heat up rice packs, rub her back, give her medications on schedule, and try to keep her comfortable. She spends most of her time in bed now because any slight aggravation or movement to her torso brings on an onslaught of pain.

Mark is not doing the best himself and is having a harder time getting around the house. He does all he can for my mom, but it is very hard on him and his body. This has put a lot on Camden and me to make sure we keep up with online classes, get things around the house done, get our parents to their doctors’ appointments, and try to find time to enjoy life with our parents. On top of this our financial stresses are more present now than ever, but the health insurance we paid for is integral to helping my mom in this fight.

The pandemic has not made things easier. We were unsure of when and if to contact people for help because we feared that people did not want to get our mom sick or get themselves sick. Recently close friends have been coming by and helping more – thank you Dawn and Tracey. We are comfortable with close friends visiting my mom so long as we do it in a responsible way by washing hands and what not.

I do want to thank others who have reached out to us during this time. The meals provided by everyone from Grace Church have been a great blessing. Getting things like worrying about meals off our backs gives us more time to spend with our mom. I also want to thank those who have picked up groceries to bring by and continue to offer to do so all the time. I also want to thank the Heinold family for all their support and the Arvin’s, Shelly and Chris, for bringing by an Easter meal and always offering help to my family. Thanks to anyone I am forgetting this moment as well. Support from our community means a lot and relieves a lot of stress.

Any help anyone wants to offer my family whether it be physically, emotionally, or financially we are looking for any help we can get. I will try to update everyone again sometime soon after our meeting with my mom’s oncologist, Dr. Kalyan, tomorrow. If you would like to reach out to me in anyway even if it’s just asking how my mom is doing feel free to do so, I can be reached at (309) 838-8152. Please continue to pray for my mom and that she can find comfort from all this pain.

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