An Update on Mom’s Chemo/Radiation Treatment

Mom and Bill








My Mom recently completed her first month of chemo and radiation treatment at CTCA.  Way to go, Mom!!  Since it’s been a little while I wanted to update you all on how things are going.  Mom and I spoke this evening and, while she was in good spirits, she told me about a setback in her treatment.  After her radiation treatment this morning she had her regularly scheduled appointment with her radiation oncologist.  She was told that due to their concerns regarding her weight loss (she is down to 105 pounds) they were canceling her treatment (both chemo and radiation) for the rest of the week so that she can focus on her nutrition with the goal of putting some weight back on.  She said she is looking forward to some much needed rest without the worry of any appointments, but is disappointed that delaying her treatment this week will prolong her time in Chicago by an additional week.  They are surely ready to be back home!!  We ended our conversation ever so sweetly by Mom sharing a verse that had really touched her and encouraged her this week!!  Thank you, Mom, for encouraging me!!  I love you!

Psalm 128:5-6…May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children’s children.

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers and support.  Here are a few specific prayer requests:

  1. That my Mom would be able to find some foods that she enjoys that will also allow her to put weight back on and that her weight loss would stop.
  2. That the medical staff can find the perfect remedy to stop her lower GI distress.
  3. That she would be able to find good rest this week and that her treatment can resume again next week without any further delays.
  4. For continued encouragement for both Mom and Bill as they continue with treatment and continue to be away from home for the next month.
  5. That God would perform a miracle and heal Mom’s body completely.

Here are the two most recent updates from Bill (the first is the most recent).

E-mail update dated Sept. 4th:

Dear Family and Friends,

    Well, we continue to mark days off the calendar…just one chemo treatment and 13 scheduled radiation treatments to go.  Needless to say, we are ready to be back in good ‘ole Fayetteville. 

    As the radiation oncologist forewarned, rad treatments are now starting to take their toll with regard to fatigue, nausea, and increased GI symptoms.  Chemo has amplified those Sx and even added some moderate intermittent muscle cramping in the past couple of weeks.  Together they are tugging on Judy’s emotions.  We anticipated that, of course, and are taking the necessary meds/therapy/diversions to stay a step ahead of the challenges. Judy continues to have a reasonably good appetite, but usually fills up before getting very many calories down.  I’m sure she tires of me saying, “Food is medicine, darling”.  But, at this time, her weight has become an issue.  In the midst of all this, however, just holding hands or embracing for a moment seems to help her regain some stamina and determination.  And, just one of Judy’s smiles continues to brighten my day… that’s my daily treat!

    As mentioned in earlier updates, Lake Michigan affords us some soothing and restful moments.  Illinois Beach State Park is only five minutes away, so we have enjoyed a few afternoons/evenings sitting at water’s edge taking in all the sights, sounds, and smell of the beach.

    Last week we had an awesome treat, too.  Our dearest friends (and biker buddies) came to encourage and support us in literally every way they could.  They have been such a blessing to us over the years…standing with us as Aaron and Hur.  They have been the epitome of Proverbs 17:17 in our lives.  Fortunately, Judy felt well enough while they were here to be up-and-about most of the time.  They did their best to “fatten her up” and promote some good belly laughs, too.  Great medicine!!!  We guys even took a few hours, with the girls blessings, to go salmon fishing one morning.  For anyone interested, the fishing was great! 

    As we begin this three day holiday weekend Judy is especially looking forward to having that “one extra day” away from the hospital environment… allowing a little more time to regroup after chemo/radiation.  The city of Zion is having a big parade on Monday, supposedly the largest in the state. So, if the weather cooperates, we’ll be there trying to catch candy with the rest of the kids. 🙂  

    In closing, Judy and I pray to the Father that your Labor Day weekend will be fun, safe, and refreshing, also.  We continue to be humbled by your many acts of love.  Please know that each and every thing you have done for us is appreciated.  Thank you so much for your continued earnest prayers.  In confidence, we trust the Lord’s response to each of those prayers.  He is faithful… and, we are His!

Sending our love, 


E-mail update dated August 18th: 

Dear Family & Friends,

    Well, Judy is beginning week three of eight today.  Two more rounds of chemo and twenty-nine radiation treatments to go.  We have adjusted fairly well to motel life, but will definitely welcome our home in F’ville with big smiles when the time comes. The MD’s, homeopathic doctors, nutritionists, and all the rest of the staff have done a great job of combining their skills to help Judy.  Side effects, for the most part, have been few and mild.  However, her lower GI problems and fatigue are increasing with the daily radiation.  Those were somewhat predictable though, since radiation has a cumulative effect.  Judy has experienced some hair loss recently, but not really a large amount yet.  To help make lemonade out of lemons, she and I joke about me wearing the wig since my hair is still shorter than hers.  (Trust me, I won’t be going public!)  

    The good news is… Judy is able to enjoy some outside diversions after she completes her routine at the hospital each day.  Combined activities each Monday pretty well eat up the day and wear her out.  But, the rest of the week there is only radiation scheduled in the a.m., so that allows us to get away for a few hours to “scout the area” before her daily nap time.  She has enjoyed having Lake Michigan so close, also.  Visiting the nearby marinas and walking the shoreline, as I’ve mentioned before, have really seemed to help her relax and regroup.  This weekend was especially good.  We were able to spend part of Friday and all day Saturday with some dear friends in northern Indiana.  The change of scenery and visiting with some very special folks made it a near-perfect getaway.  

    For those who have been such great prayer warriors on our behalf, we bless you and thank you again and again.  An ongoing concern for us is Judy’s continuing weight loss…nearly 45 pounds now…about 7 or 8 since we’ve gotten here.  Her appetite is relatively good, but here absorption isn’t.  Please pray for a turn-around there.

    In closing, I find it necessary once again to say that God’s amazing grace has been sufficient to meet Judy’s and my daily needs.  In His faithful expression of love He has used YOU to encourage and support us…sometimes through visible and tangible means, and at other times in ways that only He knows and can acknowledge.  I am hesitant to mention specific acts of kindness for fear of leaving someone out.  But, no matter how you have encouraged us, Judy and I thank you for your love and prayerfully ask that the Giver of all good and perfect gifts repay you as Jesus spoke of in Luke 6:38.

We send our love,


1 Comment

Filed under Family, Health

One response to “An Update on Mom’s Chemo/Radiation Treatment

  1. Tonya Suarez

    Jo, Thanks so much for the update on your mom. I have been praying for her and meant writing or calling you to get an update but as you can see I haven’t yet. That being said I just want you to know we are still praying and that your mom is in the right hands, God’s hands as so many people are lifting her up in prayer and obviously she is falling at HIS feet each and every day for guidance, support, comfort, etc.
    PS Thanks for the call on my birthday. Sorry I missed you.

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