With the events that have occurred with Mom’s treatment and condition this week I felt the need to update you all so that you know how you can be praying for her. I am definitely not technically savy when it comes to explaining everything that’s going on with Mom from a medical standpoint, but I feel like it is urgent that I update you all on what is going on. I usually try to reserve all of the specific medical updates for Bill through his e-mail updates, but I’ll try to explain it the way he and Mom have explained it to me through the scribbled notes I’ve jotted down during our conversations over the past several days.
Mom told us (the kids) on Saturday that the cancer marker test results had gone from 33,000 since beginning treatment to 36,000. The typical range is 0-35. As you can imagine it was pretty discouraging to see the number grow larger considering the extensive treatment Mom has endured over the past several weeks. With those test results in mind (and considering Mom’s weight loss to 105 pounds), Mom and Bill decided they wanted to forgo any further treatment and make preparations to return home. Mom also began her total parenteral nutrition (TPN) that weekend which she now receives for eight hours during the night while she sleeps/rests.
On Monday of this week Mom woke up with severe shaking, nausea and a fever. She already had a scheduled appointment with the medical oncologist that morning at 9:00 am so she and Bill made their way to the hospital. By the time she arrived her fever was up to 103 and she was vomiting. The physician immediately admitted her to the hospital at that time. Their intial thought was that maybe she had some radiation toxicity and/or cholangitis from the radiation. The results of an x-ray that same day indicated that it was most likely a small bowel obstruction but the results were not conclusive. Antibotics were administered at that time just in case of a port infection. They took blood samples from her arm and port as well (as of today we are still waiting on these results…they should be back tomorrow). That evening her nausea was diminished and her vomiting gone. They were also able to continue her TPN that evening.
Today we received the CT Scan results back (she had the test run yesterday). The results showed that there is no bowel obstruction and that the tumor in the pancreas has not grown significantly. However, the results did show that the cancer has metastasized to the liver. We are all pretty shocked by this latest news. It just doesn’t seem to make since that a person can go through such aggressive treatment only for the cancer to spread. Frustrating indeed. What is also frustrating is that it seems that once Mom and Bill made their decision to go home all of these little complications started to occur preventing them from being in the one place they REALLY want to be surrounded by their friends and family and the comforts of their own home. Those additional complications include: Mom’s heart rate is low at 40 BPM and they aren’t sure what is causing it to remain low; she is also experiencing trouble breathing and the CT results showed fluid in the outside lining of her lungs; and one of her doctors strongly believes that she might have an infection in her port (again we should know those results tomorrow). I’ll try to end here on an encouraging note…mom’s weight has increased from 105 to 110 pounds!!
Here are our specific prayer requests at this time:
- Encouragement as we deal with the latest news of the cancer spreading to the liver.
- That Mom would be stable enough to have a stent procedure done on Friday (this is something else that must be done before they can return home) and for a successful and safe procedure.
- That the culture results (that we should receive tomorrow) show no sign of an infection in her port.
- That the nausea, vomitting and diarrhea would stop completely.
- That Mom’s heart rate would improve.
- That the fluid around her lungs will go away and that no procedure will be needed to remove the fluid.
- That they can go home as soon as possible. Not only are they ready to be home but we are so ready to see them!!!
Matt. 11:28-30 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Phil. 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.