Sunday, 16 March 2014

Update on Mary: Crossroads

Last week was a wild ride. We expected Mom's test might reveal something discouraging (not because we are pessimists, the doctor expected it too), but instead it showed that Mom's cancer had not spread through her intestines as we had feared; at most it is in two very small patches, and biopsies on those areas were inconclusive. Mom's oncologist was cheered by this news, and also by blood work that continues to show that her new chemo treatment is working. Each time they test her blood for cancer markers they have fallen. He feels the best course of action is to continue her current treatment, and he believes that the chemo will eventually bring her relief from the intense pain she is living with. He gave her a week off of chemo to eat hearty and get her weight up, and she has been eating and beefing up this week.

However, (and please know that I have permission to share this, in fact, my mom explicitly asked me to write this) Mom has lost the will to fight. She has no hope. She cannot see past the terrible pain and does not want to continue treatment. She is physically and emotionally drained, and is seriously considering not continuing her chemotherapy. She urgently requests your prayers for tomorrow, as she is scheduled to go in for treatment but does not want to go. Please pray that she will make a wise decision.

Obviously those of us who love her are having a very hard time with her giving up, especially since both her oncologist and her pain doctor feel it is much too early for her to consider hospice care. Please pray that we will deal gently and compassionately with her and that we would have peace with the decisions that she makes.

Please pray that Mom's pain would decrease. It is the unrelenting pain that has driven Mom's spirits so low. That, and her acceptance that she cannot beat this cancer. Please pray that she can see the value in the time she has already gained by fighting and in the possibility of winning some more.

Pray for Mom to have clarity (something that is hard to achieve considering the amount of pain medicine she is on currently) and that she will be able to discern what her next steps should be.

Pray for her to have renewed strength and courage as she faces tomorrow.

Thank you all for your continued prayer and encouragement as we continue this arduous journey. We love you and we are so grateful for your prayers, now more than ever.


Christine said...

Amy - I will pray for your mom and your family. I have kept up on your family and your mother's illness through facebook. Your family continues to be inspirational to me. When I first read your mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, my heart sunk. As a physician, this is a dreaded diagnosis. I honestly thought she would be lucky to see Kenny born. I've had patients I have diagnosed with this cancer go from diagnosis to death within weeks or months. It's truly a terrible disease.

Mary's fight has been an inspiration. Seeing her fight gives me hope for my patients, regardless of their diagnosis. I've seen your facebook posts update about your family and I've thought that I can't believe Mary has gotten to be present for all of this: weddings and grandchildren and joy! What a blessing from God that she could function and live with her family so well and for so long and to be present for so much after an awful diagnosis that is both deadly and debilitating.

I'll be praying for Mary, to see what she has gained and to know when her time is done, separate from the pain. And I'll pay they can control the pain better. These are extremely hard decisions for a person and family to make. I'll pray for her doctors to be good guides as well. And if she doesn't already have a palliative care team, maybe one could assist her going forward, regardless of whether she chooses hospice care.

Blessings to your family, and thank you for sharing your journey with everyone.

Robin said...

Good morning Amy and family. Your post today helped me know how to pray for Mary this morning. We love her so very much! David in Whittier.

Sweet Apron said...

We continue to pray for your mom and dad and the whole family. I remember when you told our small group the news....I thought I was going to be ill. Just couldn't understand why (again) bad things happen to good people. We prayed fervently that she would be able to see Kenny and Own's births that summer, then we dared to pray for a family Christmas. Crazy that there is so much spunk in such a small woman!

We are always praying for a miracle (that is in the present tense-still praying for a miracle). Thank you for this real post. I pray that you will all have clarity, courage, wisdom, laughs and always a good night's sleep.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I’ve endured this discomfort before,
and survived it,
and so I can survive today.
I’ve felt these feelings before and sat with them,
And so I can sit with them today.
I’ve felt like giving up before and held on to hope,
And so I can continue to hold on today.
I made it through yesterday, and so,
I can also make it through today.
I can do it.
I will do it.
I am doing it.
I am strong, I am capable, and I will not give up.

Love you Mary,


Jeff Ducar said...

I will be praying for Mary. She is a good woman and I am blessed to get to have gotten to know her a bit through the South Bay Community Church of the Bretheren / Tree of Life. She has a lot to life for, and God willing once she is through this will regain her enjoyment and peace in life. I am truly sorry that she / you are going through this.