Kathy’s Story

Site created on January 30, 2021

We have set up this site to update all our wonderful friends and family as we set out on a new journey.  First and foremost, we want to honor our Lord and Savior Jesus as we walk through this potentially hard path. We have always believed in God’s love for us, plan for our best good.  We believe all our days are known from the beginning and nothing that comes into our life is a surprise to Him.  So we now need to lean into our life-long faith, trust and belief.  So, if you are praying for us and not aware of current specifics, make it your prayer that we lean in and remain steadfast in this belief during “hard”.  

Many have already been part of the first steps of this journey.  As this journey has intensified, we are thankful for Caring Bridge as we have first hand become aware of the emotional toil that it takes updating all you wonderful people,  This is not intented to replace all other contacts but we will endeavor to keep this site up to date.  Keep your prayers and well wishing messages coming.  Each time, it is like a shot of strength.

This is Phil,  her husband, describing the journey  for my lovely wife.   I will start where we are currently as we start this site for those who are unaware of how we got here.  Today, Jan 30, 2021, we know that she has a pancreatic tumor due to cat scans and MRI testing.  Our gastro doctor is going to push things on Monday for a endoscopic ultrasound from Hershey Med.  While this is not yet considered surgery, it is exploratory with ultrasound and biopsies to determine the next steps.    That is the current prayer request that this get scheduled quickly.

So a brief history of the journey.  In November 2020, she began to feel discomfort in her upper abdominal area.  By December, it became apparent that she needed to get this looked at.  As it was, our first appointment was on Jan 8 with her family doctor who made an immediate referral to the gastro doctor with an EGD on January 14.  The EGD (scope review down the esophagus, stomach and start of intestine) was good...only minor findings.  So a cat scan was scheduled for January 21st; got canceled and was done on the 27th.  On January 28, we received the results that a tumor was found.  The findings had details that were grim. And brought despair emotions. Trust me when I tell  you, this changes everything in a moment.  Her family doctor happens to be a church friend and has been above and beyond in her availability,  assertive and caring for Kath.  She ordered an MRI the next day (Jan 29, Friday); this provided another level of details which cleared some of the grimness.  Then with more pushing and coordination with the gastro doctor, he called at the end of day and we stand ready for the next step. 

In summary, the grimness is rooted not only in the word cancer, but more in its location.  We are not doctors but we expect some level of malignancy and are hopeful that it is treatable with the best prognosis possible.  We would rejoice if the end result is benign, but do t anticipate that.  Join us please as we walk through this chapter.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Philip Progar

 The Standard is the Standard.  This is Steeler Coach Tomlin mantra to the team when injuries occur.  The ‘next man up’ (another Tomlin expression) is meant to understand that they need to follow the expectation which, of course, is to win a Super Bowl with excellent play.

While Kath’s mantra is ‘I will interpret the standard with my touch’.  Ok not as catchy but you get the point.  I have had aseat to watch over years as her touch in anything she gets involved in.  I told her brother John when we embarked on Mark’s funeral just sit back and watch the magic.

It started quickly when she took the online funeral home obituary and made it a ‘love tribute to her brother’.  Took some by surprise so it was modified a bit to be a standard informational obituary then her love letter followed. 

Next came the transformation of our living and dining room into the tribute studio to re-create Mark’s life on story boards.  Very well done as it was displayed at his service (and I think made some posts somewhere).

Then the service itself.  It was a hard situation given Mark’s many choices and lack of loving the Lord.  Many funeral services can be uplifting as they are often a Celebration of Life that focus on their good choices usually associated with a solid relationship with Christ.   We all knew that this would not have the feel.  While all of us but one…she changed this standard too.  It was a Celebration of the Dignity of a Life.  While she acknowledged the hard stuff, she found the good stuff too.  We all mourned but I think all left with a sense that life has dignity and deserves our best view of it.  Rest in peace.

Back to the Standard.  God has a Standard…he is holy and just.  In reality, we can never meet this standard and we all fall short in sin…this is why He had to find a way for us with his Son’s Jesus atonement.  Hebrews 12:2 states ‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’

Someday Kath will land in heaven cause Jesus met this Standard.  However heaven will need to appear aware as of her touch.

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