Saturday, June 26, 2010

Having Fun

My mom is having fun in Heaven without us. She went home to be with the Lord yesterday at 4:00pm. She was surrounded by her family with her grandkids running around.

The Celebration of Life service will be Wednesday, June 30 at 10:00 am at the Angus Church of the Nazarene near Ruidoso, New Mexico. There will also be a celebration service in San Diego, California at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Bonita Park (this is where my mom has worked for the past three years and where my parents live) designated for an 18 hole miniature golf course for the Nazarene campground. This was a project she was excited about and was talking about it the day before she passed away.

Bonita Park
HC 71 Box 1159
Capitan, NM 88316

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A New Chapter

My Dad, Amy, Aunt Kathy, and I accompanied my mom to her doctor appointment today. They drew blood and Aunt Kathy took the lab work to the hospital. While she was doing that we had the doctor appointment.

The doctor reviewed her medications and symptoms. She explained the options my mom had. The first option was to continue Chemo. She had never finished the last chemo and there were a few other chemo possibilities. The second option was to go on Hospice. She asked all of us what we thought but the three of us left the decisions to mom. She said she felt she had fought hard and decided to go on Hospice. She then went on to ask the doctor if she was giving up too early. The doctor said no and that she thought my mom has fought long and hard against this battle.

We are not sure if the doctor was a Christian but she talked about God a lot through the appointment. I asked if she had ever witnessed a miracle at this stage and she said anything is possible with God.

When we got in the car I saw my mom cry for the first time through this battle. She apologized to us for giving up. She said she promised she would try everything. We were quick to tell her she did not give up. She fought this cancer in a way we've never seen before. She endured a lot, with no complaints, and had an amazing attitude this last year and a half.

We are happy that the focus will be on her comfort and that we will have help from Hospice.

My mom is an amazing lady who fought cancer with God, humor, and perseverance. I couldn't have asked for a better example of how to handle difficult situations. The battle is not over...we will continue to fight with prayer (the best medicine). Pastor Rick Hutchison and Stan Yocum (her boss) said sometimes things need to get to the impossible for miracles to happen. I know many people are praying, please keep it up.

Along with praying for a miracle, please pray for my mom's comfort level and breathing, and the family as we adjust to the new chapter in our lives.

Busy Day

First of all, Amy and I are soooooooo happy we are here with our mom and dad. We have been able to help a lot more here than in San Diego. :)

Monday, June 21st was a long busy day and my mom was a trooper. She needed labs done, chest x-ray, and a Zometa shot. She usually sleeps around 20 hours a day, so the festivities from the day were going to keep her from her beauty rest.

We borrowed a wheel chair from the camp ground to help her get around. Aunt Kathy, Amy , and I loaded mom in the car with two oxygen tanks and a wheel chair. We went to the oncology office first. It was a VERY busy day. They drew some blood for the labs and were concerned with her current condition. The nurse said it was a possibility that we could squeeze her in to see the doctor. We loaded mom back into the car and took her across town to the hospital to get a chest x-ray. After the chest x-ray we got back into the car and headed back to the oncology office.

Her labs showed that her potassium levels were very low. They started my mom on a potassium IV that lasted for four hours. We were not able to see the doctor on Monday (we have an appointment on Tuesday, June 22nd.

We left that house around 10:30 in the morning and didn't get her home till 6:30 pm. She was exhausted from all the fun activities from the day.

We were also able to arrange having a hospital bed and wheel chair delivered to the house. We wanted the hospital bed for many reasons. Her normal bed is too high and she needs her bed to be at a 35 degree angle to help her breathing. My mom wanted the bed in the living room so she wouldn't miss out on the fun. : ) We are thankful for the bed and newer wheelchair to help my mom be more comfortable.

Amy and I came just in time. All four of us kept busy between running my mom around town and figuring out the hospital bed.

Keep praying for a miracle.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

An update from Pat's sister, Kathy,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sara asked me to write an update on her "Praying for a Miracle" blog, so I will do my best. Many friends have been asking specifically how to be praying, so I hope this will help.

Howard brought Pat home on Thursday, June 17th after 10 days in the hospital. I drove up the same day to be of help in any way possible. I had not seen her for awhile so I was not prepared for the decline in her health.

She is retaining fluids and it is very apparent in her feet and ankles. She finds it hard to find a comfortable position for breathing and resting.

Pat is scheduled for a lung x-ray, lab work and Zometa shot on Monday. On Tuesday morning she is scheduled to see an Oncologist. It will be a struggle for her to get ready and out to the car for these trips to town. She needs help in walking even short distances and it leaves her breathless.

A special prayer meeting just for Pat was held at her church last night at 8:45. About 25 people dropped whatever they were doing, when notified, and made their way to the church to lift her up to our Lord. We continue to ask for your prayers on Pat's behalf. Howard, Sara, Jeff, Amy and the rest of the family also need your prayers.

On a lighter note, congratulations to Sara on completing all of the work for her master's degree!!!!

Sara and Amy were planning on coming June 29th to stay with their parents for the month of July but decided to come sooner. They flew to NM today and really surprised Pat this evening.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In the Hospital Again

Here is a summary of the many things that have happened this past week.

Last Monday 6/7/10

Mom went to the cancer center in Ruidoso to see her nurse Karen. My mom skipped her chemo the Thursday before because she was still fighting her infection and was having a hard time getting out of the house. As of last Monday she was still having a very difficult time breathing. She could only sleep and breath sitting up and leaning over with her head on a table. Karen her nurse decided that it was best to send her back to the hospital (she just got out of the hospital the Wednesday before) to get the breathing situation under control.

An ambulance picked her up from the cancer center and got her to Albuquerque in two hours. She was hooked up to oxygen and watched the movie Rudy in the Ambulance. My dad went home to pack and met her at the hospital; also, my Aunt Suzanne drove up from Roswell.

This is when the waiting game began. While at the hospital she has had many tests, x-rays, scans, and ultrasounds. The big decision was deciding what to do to help her breathing. There were two options:

Option 1- Insert a medicine into her lungs that would scar her lungs and keep them from filling up with fluid. The procedure would be extremely painful and there were mixed messages on the guarantee of how effective it would be.

Option 2- Insert a drain into her lungs. This drain would allow my mom to drain her own lungs when she felt the need.

My mom decided to go with the drain. This procedure was done on Friday 6/11/10. The procedure went well and my dad went through the training on how to use the drain.

The focus has mainly been on her breathing. She has been doing breathing treatments and talking with doctors about things she can do at home and while she is sleeping to help her breathing. Also, for the first time my mom is starting to take pain medication which is amazing. Cancer is in the bones can be very painful and the doctors have been amazed that she has not needed pain medicine since day one. They want to transition her to pill form of her pain meds before she leaves the hospital. The pain meds have been helpful and have helped her sleep better.

While in the hospital she has had some problems with her blood pressure and she has become dehydrated again. Thankfully she is in the hospital, so that they can help her even though they keep her from resting in the day because of the many nurses, student nurses, technicians, and doctors in and out of her room.

On a positive note my mom has been sleeping better and she got up and walked around for the first time without loosing her breath.

Aunt Suzanne has been sleeping in the hospital with my mom. My dad has been staying in a hotel. Aunt Suzanne went home today and my dad will be sleeping in the hospital room with my mom. They still do not know when they are leaving. There also has not been any decision about what the next step is for chemo. We do know that the cancer is growing.

Please keep praying and I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rough Week and Googly Eyes

My mom has had a rough week. A lot has happened, so I’ll try to cover what has happened.

Thursday, May 27th
Mom requested a chest x-ray because breathing has become more difficult for her. The x-ray showed that her right lung was filling up (actually it is the area surrounding the lung). The doctor drained a quart of fluid from her right lung. The fluid was pushing the bottom of her right lung up, which was effecting her breathing.

Friday, May 28th
She went back for a chest x-ray. The doctor was hoping that the lower portion of her lung might drop back into position to ease her breathing. The x-ray showed that the lower portion did not drop and that the area was filling up with fluid again. Any action was put on hold because of the holiday weekend.

Saturday, May 29th – Sunday May 30th
We all noticed a change in my mom over the weekend. She was continuing to have a hard time breathing. She was sleeping all day, was listless, had no energy, not eating because she couldn’t keep it down, and was having coughing fits. There was talk about going to the ER but mom had no energy to want to get up and go.

Monday, May 31st
Things continued to get worse so the decision was to go to the ER around 8:00 pm. They immediately put her on an IV of fluids for dehydration. My dad saw an immediate change in her as she began to get fluids. After they got her IV started they took x-rays. They found that she had an infection. They then put her on antibiotics through the IV. She was a trooper through all of this and endured 7 hours on an uncomfortable bed in the ER. My mom was admitted and stayed till Wednesday, June 2nd.

She is home now and is still sleeping all day. She’s trying to eat and she still has the coughing attacks. Overall there has been a change. We all hope for my mom to be comfortable and we hope that something can be done for her comfort.

She is going to chemo today. Please pray for strength for my mom. It takes a lot for her to go places because she would rather be home sleeping. Also, pray that they can figure out what is going on and they can find a way to make her comfortable. She is still trying to get to work when possible. She doesn't want them to have too much fun without her :-)

My dad has been AMAZING. As you would expect, he is taking care of her, serving her, and doing anything to make her feel comfortable. Please pray for him as he continues to take care of my mom.

On a lighter note below are pictures from my mom’s chemo two weeks ago. Everyone, even Gretta were all googly eyed over chemo.

My Aunt Suzanne made this for my mom. We are blessed the hope we receive from God.