Sunday, December 31, 2006

Addition to my last post....

Here are just some pictures from our Christmas Eve and Christmas....sorry most of them are so fuzzy and blurry! I'll post them anyway though. My Mom looks much better now! (The thing in my Mom's nose was a feeding tube)

These are from Christmas Eve or the day before, I can't remember

These are from Christmas Day!

Letting God Heal

Last night David and I talked a long time about everything that has happened with my Mom. We both agreed that since the beginning, she has only gotten worse. With few exceptions of days when she felt really good. Now, with man's eyes, our situation seems hopeless. Without God it is impossible for my Mom to be healed. They have given her 6 months or less to live. I wonder to myself, Why am I okay with this? I think the number one reason is because I don't believe it. Since the beginning I have had hope that my Mom will be healed. Now I have had to think a lot though, what if he doesn't? Will I be okay with it? Will I get mad at God? After a long time thinking I realized I wouldn't. How could I? Either way my Mom will win...she still wont get to see me marry, or see her grandkids, but she will be in the prescence of God! I will be the one to suffer and I'll miss her so much, but in time I will be okay too. I realized last night that if my Mom were to be healed in Mexico, man could have gotten the credit. Our family wouldn't have thought it was them, but others could have. Also, if the radiation would have worked, people could have accredited to the doctors in the states. We have decided to sit back and let God heal her. We want him to get all the credit. We have friends who say they don't believe in miracles. They think that was a New Testament thing, not a now a days thing. Maybe my Mom's healing will change their minds? I don't know. I firmly believe in this coming year, my Mom will be healed. In the bible 7 is complete and 8 a new beggining. I am praying that 2007 will be like that for us. I'm not supersticious or anything but I keep telling myself by July my Mom will be better. If she isn't that's okay, but if she is even alive in July, that is amazing in itself! I think our family in particular is very excited about this New Year!

Last night something encouraging happened with my Mom. All of you who read this blog will know before the update list does! My Mom has had like burns on her forhead since the radiation. While in the hospital, the nurse told us that it will never come off. I couldn't believe it. Then yesterday a friend of ours brought my Mom some facial wipes. Now, you have to know, we have washed my Mom's face many times-everyday...but last night as I was using those wipes, the burn marks were coming off. Mandy and I wiped for about 20 min. and they all came off! Praise God! It's not that the marks were horrible, but once again my Mom beat the odds! When they say it can't be done, God shows that it can...Thanks God! Here are the before and after pictures...
Pretty neat huh? Well, I guess that is all for today. My Mom has been quiet all morning and we are praying that she perks up again. We have cut her steroids from 40mg. to 24mg. in a matter of 2 days, so I'm hoping she will bounce back. Thank you for all that are praying, I really do appreciate it!


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

So Much To Say...So Little Time

Alright, I know it has been a long time since I have posted anything, but I do have an excuse this time. It all started on Wednesday, December 21st. Everything seemed to be going okay in the morning. My Mom felt good and everything seemed alright. Then my grandparents showed up with some Christmas gifts for my Mom. Oh, actually I just remembered. Wednesday morning, everything wasn't fine. My Mom couldn't remember things too well, and she didn't recognize us, or at least she said she couldn't. Then in the afternoon after opening a Christmas gift, my Mom went into a seizure.

At first it didn't scare me, because she has had them before and they last abot 45 seconds. So, after 30 seconds I went over to her and just started praying for her. Then, my Grandma made the comment, I think your Mom is having a seizure. She didn't know that I knew. After about a minute, my Mom started shaking all over and it just got really bad. My Grandpa got the time so we could see how long it was. After 5 minutes, and no changes...only for the worst, my Grandpa called 911. About 8 or 9 minutes into the seizure my Mom stopped breathing. I couldn't find her pulse and couldn't get her blood pressure. It was so scary for me. I really realized then that there is nothing we can do. God is ultimately in control, so the only thing worth doing is to pray. And that's what I did, althought I did believe my Mom had died. After 15 minutes the seizure had stopped and my Grandpa did mouth to mouth and she started breathing on her own again, she was still unconscience though. The paramedics showed up and said she was in a stable condition. They said it is actually safer for her to stay unconscise.

As she was being loaded into the ambulance David showed up at the house. He came home as soon as he heard about Mom. On the way to the hospital my Mom did regain conscienceness. The guy riding in the back with her told me that she was following commands, she just couldn't talk.

They ended up taking her into St. Josephs West in Lake St. Louis. They said that she needed to be admitted into ICU that night, untill they could get her medications under control. On Thursday morning, we went to see my Mom and she looked much better. She was on NO oxygen! We couldn't believe it. Her level was staying at 98 to 100%, when the night before she was at 84 with no oxygen on. Praise God for that!

Then on Thursday to our surprise the whole Myers Family came up from Kentucky to see us and deliver my Mom's Christmas present, the Quilt! We had such a great time with them. That could have been a really tough day for us, with all of the stress of being at the hospital, but they made it so much better. We have been so blessed by their family. Since she was doing so good on Thursday we figured she would come home on Friday.

On Friday, my Mom was much worse. She was swallowing because she was so tired. She couldn't stay away from one bite to the next. The doctor was in the room while I was trying to feed her so he said he thought it best to keep her another day and see how she was. And if she wasn't eating, he suggested putting a feeding tube in. So Friday, Lora Tate, took Mandy and I shopping to get our mind off things that day! We have really great friends! :) It was nice to spend the day with her.

On Saturday, my Mom was still doing pretty bad. She wasn't eating so they did order to have a feeding tube put in. The doctor gave us the results from her MRI and said that the two tumors appeared to be one large mass now. There was lots of swelling, but the size of the tumor didn't seem to change from the MRI done in October...which is good! From August to October it grew 2 mm, but from October 2nd to December 22, it didn't grow! Praise God!

Okay, this is turning out to be really long....On Sunday when we went in to see my Mom she was doing really good. We were so happy to see how she had improved. She was eating and she stayed awake almost the entire day. We were almost positive then that she would be coming home for Christmas! Well...on Monday morning all of us, plus Tara and Jason and David's Dad, went up to the hospital to open presents and celebrate Christmas up there. When we got there, my Mom wasn't doing as good as before. She wasn't eating again, and was very tired. She was able to stay awake while opening her gifts but that was it. So, unfortanately she didn't get to come home on Christmas. Around 2:00 on Christmas my Dad picked Mandy and me up to go to my Grandmas house. I had a good time, but towards the evening I started feeling really sick. I just went in the back bedroom and cried. All I could think about was my Mom. When we left the hospital she didn't look good at all and my Grandpa had made a comment, "Oh, so your Mom seems to be like she is at the end"---That didn't help at all. I hated facing the truth, but that night it stood right in front of my face. I was really scared and I missed my Mom.

On Tuesday my Dad dropped us off at the hospital and my Mom was up in her bed and ready to go. They had taken out the feeding tube and she was anxious to go home. She looked a lot better. She still wasn't talking, but she felt better. So, around 2:00 the ambulance brought her back home. She was so happy to be home! As soon as she got put back in her bed she fell asleep and slept untill 10:00. When she woke up she was talking a little bit. We decided to have her open a few more Christmas presents that we forgot to bring up. She was very alert and was excited about each gift. I then asked her if she remembered what gift I had gotten her, and she didn't. So, I brought the quilt back out. She loved seeing it. She didn't remember it at all. She was so interested seeing who made each block and what each block said. I really enjoyed the time last night reading them to her. Everyone did a wonderful job on their block! And thanks Hannah, for making the quilt for me! :)

So, last night I slept out in the living room with my Mom and around 3:00 I woke up and checked on her. She was awake, just laying there. I got up to turn off the TV it was playing the same song over and over again, and as I was walking to it, my Mom said to me, "Danielle, will you turn that thing off, It's been playing for an hour and a half!" I couldn't believe it! She hadn't talked that much for a long time! I was so happy. I stayed up a little while with her talking and then we both fell asleep. When we woke up that morning she was still talking just as good. It was so encouraging to see her like that again. Mrs. Osborne came today and my Mom stayed up almost the whole day talking with us.

The Hospice nurse came today also to have me fill out information. She said they will have a nurse out every day to check on my Mom. I never thought we would put my Mom on hospice, but I had to get to the point where it wasn't that we were giving up, just getting help. A friend helped me change my out look on that.

We are still praying for a miracle, because that is what it will take. I haven't given up hope, even though many think I am crazy. I sort of feel like Noah. He told everyone that it was going to rain, but no one believed him. I think, a lot of people must have thought he was crazy, I would have. I know I must seem like I am hiding from reality, or don't want to face the truth, but I really do believe she will be healed. Even though, every sign points to death, I just can't believe that.

Please continue to pray for my Mom and thanks for the prayers already!

Monday, December 18, 2006


Fear is such a horrible thing, but to overcome it is so difficult. How will I ever get over this, will I never not be afraid again? Everything seemed to be going fine, my Mom was getting better, why do things have to change so quickly? I'm really scared.

It's not that my Mom is really bad, she just started having seizures again. They are small, but they are there. I know God is in control and there is nothing I can do about it, but being at home with her, and me being the oldest is scary. I feel that things are my fault or if there was something I could have done to prevent it. I hate seeing my Mom like this. Now, she has a hard time remembering my name, my age, where we are. She thinks I'm 6, and she can't come up with my name. She said she has 7 kids, when we only have 4. I'm really hoping this is all a result from the Dilantin, the seizure medicaiton. It makes her very tired.

I've been so confident through all of this that she will be healed, and I'm still trying to believe that. I can't give up, but what do I do, when I feel so alone and scared? I've been praying so much, but I can't talk to anyone in our family. My sister doesn't want to talk about it, and David thinks I just want to be in control. It's really hard. Please, continue to pray for my Mom. I don't want her to give up, she has to keep going on. Maybe today is just a bad day, I'm praying that's all.

A friend once said, well it's in the bible too!, but Love casts out fear...Is it the devil placing all this doubt? Maybe he just wants me to lose sight of my goal. Maybe the seizures aren't related to her cancer? Even if the cancer is still growing, God can heal her. Right?

Decorating Night

Last Friday night, my sister Tara came over to help put the ornaments on the tree. We had such a good time together. My Mom was feeling really good and was so anxious for us to start the treee. We were all hungry so we wanted to eat first. :)

It was neat to go through all of our ornaments and remember back to when they were made or how we had gotten them. Even though the tree has nothing to do with the birth of Christ and it really is just vain, I think it's important because it is a time when the family all comes together, (or at least in our family) and puts aside anything that has happened before to just go back over the happy times. When looking at the ornaments, we don't think of all those bad Christmas's we had, but we remember all the good ones. Even though my Mom's memory is sometimes not the best, she could remember every ornament. It amazed us! She knew how old we were when we made it or where the ornament was bought, or who gave it to us. We found out though that ornament cookies don't last 5 years in a box...Mandy's cookie ornament had turned to a powdery substance over the last few years. Also, note to self...If a candy cane gets unwrapped and there is moisture in the box, it WILL stick to other ornaments! :) Consequently, lots of our ornaments got thrown out this year. We will just have to make new ones! I have lots of pictures for this post. The ballerina ornament was given to me last Christmas from my aunt. We went to the Nutcracker and she bought it for me. Isn't it pretty??

Here is a picture of our Christmas tree, with the house lights off. I tried to get a good one, but it just wouldn't work! :)

After we were done decorating the tree, I got some pictures of our family and of my Mom. She might seem like she looks sick in these pictures, but she really does look much better in these. I just didn't take any when she was so sick.

My Dad came to get Mandy and me on Saturday. When he saw my Mom he thought she looked very bad, but he hadn't seen her since September, that was before she got Radiation. We assured him though, that she was doing much better. We had a great time with my Dad. It has been over a month since we have seen my Dad and 3 months for my brother and step-mom, Angie. It was nice to spend time with them and play with Lane. I can't believe how big he has gotten. We tease, that he is a little man. He acts so much older and looks older, he will be 5 in January though. The pictures of him, aren't so good. He had been sleeping, so he didn't want me to take his picture. He is pretending to be sleeping in these. :)

I better go. I have more wrapping to do and have to check on our dinner! Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Joy Overcomes

As I am writing this, my Mom and Mandy are sleeping. We are all so tired. Sometimes my Mom requires our help through the night and we have to stay up untill 12:00 to give her the steroids, so we really are so tired. Usually I am one to sleep a lot, but for some reason, the Lord has been getting me through these day and I'm not totally exhausted. :) Helping my Mom has been such a joy. I've learned a lot and am learning patience through all of it...I think. Maybe now I will be better equipped to have a family and raise kids, who knows?

My Mom has been doing so much better since we got home. Today has been the best day yet. She is getting stronger, and remembers more and more each day. It's so neat to see. Today she was so anxious for me to get the house edition plans sent to Jonathan, so he could go over them. (He will possibly be the one to build the edition) I had lots of problems though. I couldn't get my scanner to connect with my Mac. We had to finally resort to a PC, I still don't know why it worked with my computer? When David gets home, I'm sure he can help me figure it out.

Yesterday was really nice, I got to see my little girl! Actually she isn't mine, but I used to babysit her everyday since she was 3 months old. Now she is almost 2. She feels like mine, but I am so sad, because in January she will be moving to North Carolina. I'll miss her so much. She has a little brother also, but I'm partial to Amari! :) On the right is a picture of her at our house, one year ago, and the left is a picture of her taken yesterday. She has grown up so much! I hope I can have a little girl just like her, well...sort of like her, just a little better disciplined...Right Chrissy! Oh, here is a picture of her hair from the back, I can't believe it is this long. :) Okay, that's probably enough pictures. Sometimes I can get carried away.

My next post I should have lots of pictures. Tonight my sister, Tara is coming over and we are going to decorate the Christmas tree. I'm really excited. We haven't put up decorations for the past 5 years, so it will be neat to go back through all of the decorations and ornaments and remember back. I think it will be very special for us! The tree will look very pretty too...I think!

Well, my Mom just woke up and I've got some things to do. By Monday, I will have more to write about!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

We are Home!

I know, it's been so long since I have updated everyone...I'm sorry! We got home on Monday from Chula Vista, California. They didn't actually release my Mom, we just signed her out. She was getting so depressed from staying there, we actually thought she would get better being at home. I was very afraid though about the flight. She hadn't sat up for over 4 weeks, how could she possibly sit for 6 hours? God made it happen though!

While on the plane, my Mom found one position that wasn't too bad. She would lay over onto David where it took pressure off her sores. For about an hour and 45 minutes she was able to sleep like that. When we got to the airport in St. Louis, my sister Tara, and friend Joan were there to see us, and our friend Lora, came to pick us up. We were so happy to see all of them. My Mom's face lit up when she saw Tara. It was hard for Tara though, because last she had seen Mom, she was walking, now she can barely hold her head up...she is getting better though. :)

We've been home two days, and I'm worn out. I do really enjoy all the work though. I believe there is a reason I am learning to do all these things, I'm not sure what it is, but there has to be a purpose. Mandy and I have got it down to a system how to change my Mom, and I've learned to give shots. I thought it would scare me, but it really was quite simple. I thought I was going to hurt my Mom alot, but she said she couldn't even feel it. Thank God!

We have a nurse that comes out 3 times a week, just to check her INR in her blood and to check some vital signs for her record. My grandparents came out today and hopefully tomorrow will be back. It's nice to have some company. I still was able to get lots done today. When we got home our house was a wreck, actually we left it that way. So, Mandy and I knew we had our work cut out for us. It's hard though, trying to balance, the nursing, cooking, and cleaning. Oh...and rest, we are trying to find time for that. It's not happening too much though. David has given me permission to take naps for the past two days, but I haven't had time to take a nap yet. Today I had to go to the grocery store to get some food for us, and since then I was pretty busy. I did take like a 40 minute break though, talking to a friend from the hospital in CA. I folded clothes while I talked I made up for lost time.

Last night and today we have been putting up Christmas decorations. This is our first Christmas in 5 years we have celebrated. I'm so excited. We have the tree up, but are waiting till' Friday to do the ornaments. It's always been a tradition that all of us kids are home when we do it. It's been neat unpacking the boxes and going through the old decorations. It helps us stay in good moods.

I think that is most of the news, and I don't have time to write more. I'm sorry if it takes me a few days to post. I'll try to be more prompt about it. :)

Thanks for all of the prayers!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wonderful Updates on Mom

A lot has happened since I last blogged…

First my Mom is off life support! Praise God! They ended up taking her off on Saturday. My Mom was so excited to be getting it out. She passed all the tests with no complications so they thought it would be no problem to have her breathing on her own. After taking the tube out they say it is best not to talk for the first 2 hours to give your vocal cords a time to rest. She had no problem with that. She was very tired and wanted to rest anyway.

While she was resting we wanted to go and celebrate! David took us to Outback Steakhouse. We don’t usually go somewhere that expensive so it was a treat for us. If you can believe it, I actually tried sashimi (sp?) David ordered it as an appetizer and he wanted us to try it. Our waiter also said I should. I tried explaining that I don’t even like fish cooked, so raw definitely wouldn’t be good. Finally though, I gave in and tried a piece. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but it actually wasn’t bad. It didn’t taste fishy and the texture wasn’t bad either. I wouldn’t go and order it anywhere though. ☺ After the bite I stuck to the blooming onion!

When we got back to the hospital we got to talk to my Mom a lot. Her voice was a whisper for the first 2 days and it sort of is now, just a little louder. It’s so nice to be able to talk to her again, or I mean to have her talk to me. It’s weird how often things get put into perspective for me. While in Mexico there were many times when I wanted to be doing things rather then being stuck in our room with my Mom. It was just so boring in the room with her. Now, that my Mom was on life support, everything has changed. Each morning I can’t wait to get to the hospital to see her and I like staying late at night also. Going for one week without my Mom being able to tell me things was really hard. I would cry almost every day being in the room with her, it’s hard seeing someone you love so much just laying there, not being able to do anything or say anything. Cherish everyday you have with your parents and family. Actually with everyone, friends family…all your loved ones. We really never know how long we have. Life is precious.

Yesterday we had friends and family come down to visit. My Mom really enjoyed their visit. She made a comment to me, I asked her if she wanted to rest because she had been up for a long time and she said to me, “When I sleep, everyone goes home” She thought they would all leave if she fell asleep. I assured her that they would all be here when she got up. Actually, we weren’t there, but she knew we were getting something to eat. She did get to see all of them again though. After eating dinner we came back to the hospital and Art and I played guitar while we all sang. I think my Mom really enjoyed it. I know I did. Art is such a great guitar player, I always wish I had more time with him so he could teach me some things. I learned a few things though. ☺

Last night we got a call around 11:00 and it was my Mom on the phone. She told David that he better come down to the hospital because she didn’t think she was going to make it. He asked her what she meant, and she said I’m not going to make it! David then asked to talk to the nurse and he told David that there was nothing wrong with her. She just was very nervous. So, David asked him to give her something to calm her down and call if it gets worse. Well, there was no more phone calls through the night, so around 7:00 I called and asked how she did. The nurse told me that after he gave her the medication she fell asleep for about 6 hours. (Which is really good!) When we got to the hospital this morning we asked her about the phone call last night and she just said she was terrified. She gets scared because she is in the room by herself. She really wants one of us to stay there with her, but as long as she is in ICU we can’t. She is better today though. We have been told that when a patient comes off morphene these symptoms can occur, it happened with my grandma and one of my sisters friends Dad. For some reason they think that the nurses are monsters and everyone is trying to hurt them. I know it must be so scary for my Mom.

Right now they are doing a swallowing test, if she passes they will take out the feeding tube in her nose. They couldn’t do it yesterday, because they said it takes a few days for the swelling to go down in her throat. I hope she does fine, because she really wants to eat! Then also, later today they probably will move her to a new room. YEAH! Out of ICU, and then one of us can sleep in the room with her! I’ll let you all know if she gets moved. David thinks for some reason we will be home by Thursday, I don’t know…I really want to go home, but I also really wanted to see the Dortignacs one more time, and their friends! ☺ We will have to see, I guess.

That’s all of our news…Thanks for all of the prayers!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Fun and Friends

The last two days have been pretty good. Not exactly with my Mom, but for the rest of us here. I mean, my Mom is okay, just slowly getting better. For awhile it seemed like she was making lots of progress and then it all sort of stopped. She didn't get worse, but from what we could tell she wasn't getting better. They ended up deciding to do some sort of procedure yesterday where they go in and get a sample of what is inside. I think they call it a flush...not a wipe! (Right Mandy!!!) :)

Everything went well with that procedure and they told us today that it seems like the pneumonia is gone, but they did find some kind of fungus. That's not really a great thing, but it isn't hard to treat. They just will give her a new medication and it should get rid of it. They don't seem concerned at all about it. When we went to the hospital today, my Mom was awake and very alert. I walked in and she was tapping the side of the bed...I think she was trying to get someones attention. She needed to be turned over, when she lays in the same spot for long periods of time, it starts to hurt. The nurse told us that her blood pressure was going up, which is good, so they are starting to wean her off the blood pressure medication. We also met with the doctor and he said he is going to try to wean her off the life support today also. He leaves the tube in her, just turns it off. Then he will watch to see if her breathing pattern is regular and she is getting enough oxygen. We are praying that it will all go okay.

On Wednesday I talked to Mandy Dortignac and she said that a few of her sisters could come down to Chula Vista to visit us for awhile. We were very excited, because we've only met them once and it was for like 4 hours, 2 years ago. Their family lives in..umm...somewhere near Chino and Diamond Bar, in California. Sorry, I'm not sure the name of the city. They ended up getting to our hotel around 3:30. Mandy, Annie, and Joanna all came. First we went to the hospital to see my Mom. They had never met my Mom before, so I'm sure it was ackward for them to go in and see her that way, but they didn't seem to mind. After sitting around and talking at the hospital for awhile, Mandy invited us to go to a different families house for dinner with them. The family lived in Chula Vista. I kind of feel bad, because we had been telling them how much we were getting sick of eating out and wondering where our next meal would be...Chinese or the Mexican Restaurant. So, I hope they didn't think they had to invite us for a home cooked meal. Anyways, we had a really good time at their house and a great meal! The family was very hospitable and has offered us to come back anytime.

On Thursday morning, we met back up with the girls and then they took Mandy and I to the beach, it was very close to the Mexican border. It was so nice to be so close to Mexico again. We could actually see the same islands we see from the hospital window. For some reason that was really neat to us. From there we went with them back up neat their house, actually I think it was Riverside. David also took a trip up to Chino to see our aunt and uncle.

We had a great time with the Dortignacs and all of their friends. We played a lot of volleyball, it started out really bad, but then we started playing speed volleyball and it got much funner...wait that's not a word! :) After playing volleyball we decided to jump on the trampoline. Mandy D. said she has always wanted to learn to do a back flip, so we thought we should teach her. Within 10 minutes she had it down and by the end of the night I think 5 or 6 learned how to do them. And they all were so good. I feel horrible though, because Jack had it down, but then one time he was trying 2 in a row and he landed some weird way and hurt himself. After moaning awhile and then laying still he got up and said he was fine, but I think it must have really hurt him. I hope he is feeling better now. That's always my biggest fear, that someone who we have taught gets hurt badly. :(

David ended up picking us up from their house around 11:00 and then stayed and talked for awhile. So, we got back to National City around 2:30 am and then I got to sleep around 3:00 or 3:30. I am exhausted today! We spent most of the day today at a music store called Guitar Center. Since I didn't bring my guitar this time I am having withdraws. David suprised us and took us there. We had a really good time. I spent lots of time playing different guitars and Mandy like playing on the keyboards. Do I even have to mention what we came home with??? Oh boy! :)

Well, this is turning into a very long post and I need to get going. We are hoping to spend more time with the Dortignac Family and their friends, God willing. They invited us to church this Sunday or pizza night next Friday. We are sort of hoping we will be home by next Friday though...

Thanks for all the prayers!