Sunday, December 26, 2010

the war is finally over....onward to peace...

About an hour ago a brave and beautiful woman who had fought for over 5 years to beat the beast of Malignant Melanoma finally found her peace. With her husband and family at her side she took her last breath. The long hard fought battle was over and she will now find eternal life and peace with the Lord. She will be united with many lost family members, one of whom is her dad that she lost at age 16. She will truly be missed by so many and the memories we will hold in our hearts forever..

I cannot get that last visit at the James out of my was so late when she finally got out of the doctor's office. The hospital halls were almost empty. We took that long walk together to the door where Buddy would meet us with the car. We interlocked our arms to walk together and she asked me if I would be there for her nursing home when she got old to help her walk...My response was yes and I told her we could laugh together as we would help each other or chase each other with our walkers. We laughed together that night. But I knew in the back of my mind that the visit then was questioning the cancer...the thought at that visit was, had it spread to the spinal fluid.....later to find out it had.

It was a little over a month ago that she attended her son Will's 4th birthday. She was edematous from the steroids, but able to walk with minimal assist. Then on our last family Christmas gathering at mom's....December 11th we were all informed by her that the cancer had truly spread. She broke as she told us...knowing her we all responded with nothing but positive reinforcement...we all believed that she would fight until her last breath and that she did.....sometimes I was tough on her, but
with the diagnosis I could not allow her to get weak. I am sure as great as Buddy is he had many emotional moments with her. I know my mom and sister did. But I could not is always never to allow yourself to be weakended by this beast.

There have been so many that have been so wonderful....meals have been brought to their home, coworkers of Buddy's donated time for him to be with her, babysitters, friends, Buddy's family. fireman, neighbors, even people that don't know them.....I am so glad they were their for them...that is a Godsend. On our side, I am glad I was with her during her surgeries, getting her into doctors, office visits, thanking my husband and daughters for their support, My sister Tammy and her family who is now a great addition back to the family and my brother and sister in law who was there every single day and most nights....They have
been there and been strong. My mom has struggled with this, losing a daughter has to be so very very hard....her prayers have been constant and I know when she was with Aleisha it made her feel safe and blessed.....

We now pray for her everlasting peace...I pray Buddy finds strength and her children grow up to know their mom through all the stories we share with them. They are so small now and have no idea of what their wonderful mom has suffered and I sometimes think that is a blessing --in a way......

For now....PLEASE ......pray for others who suffer from this horrific disease and if you have been diagnosed....let Aleisha set an example as a trooper....come back to this blog and cannot allow the beast to win....because if you even allow it to make you weak it will overcome you...even if it takes you physiologically...never allow it to take your spirit....God Bless and Thank you all..

where oh where does this strength come from?...

Today is the day after Christmas. We all knew that if she made it through Christmas Eve she would no way give in on Christmas day. Her Morphine IV is now up to 6 mg and she is a complete total care. She no longer responds to anyone with the exception of pain. Today is the Jesus's Birthday and she remains here on earth to be with her family. Her 2 young sons open their gifts from Santa that are around the tree. Family continues to go in and out of the a revolving door. Each person sits with her, watching for any needs she may have. Her temp has been 105 for the past 24 hrs. although the meds seemed to help to get it down to 101 for awhile it doesn't seem like it is going to work any longer. Watching her shut down and waiting is so hard.

On top of everything else, most of the hospice nurses seem to be gentle and caring. It is the few that have come that have been short and hesitant to make the calls for the increased Morphine and whatever else is needed. WHY!???? Give the woman the dignity and the family the respect to maintain peace and pain free. This is an issue I won't discuss anymore, but won't go unrecognized....

She continues to be so fragile, yet battles onward. She has been moved from the recliner now to a hospital bed in the living room. She will not be moved again. We will pray for her peace. She does not respond to us, but we think she can hear...

So many have stayed and returned and continue to care for her. My brother has only left her side for a few hours. His wife will also leave to go to work, let their dogs out and return. Buddy has been there 24/7 and his family has stayed the nights also and cared for her intensely. I only wish I could be there all the I hours away. But my heart and love is there and strong for her. I only wish for her peace now....the journey to peace. Please continue to pray....

Friday, December 24, 2010

it's Christmas Eve......

Today is Christmas Eve.....It was 2 weeks ago today that we found out that the cancer had spread rapidly in the spinal fluid. The journey has been difficult. Watching her go from a conversationalist to barely being able to talk has taken place. To the entire families' amazement she has fought this long...but that is our Aleisha...always a fighter.....she is barely taking fluids, she remains on the Morphine drip and appear so very fragile and weak. Last night Santa Claus made a surprise appearance at their home. He gently held her weak hand and she smiled as you knew she could hear the children in the background. Buddy had gotten a bottle of champaign to celebrate Christmas (he is awesome..thinks of everything..)and poured her a glass. He spoke to her and told her this was their Christmas toast..she took a small sip and smiled...this woman continues to battle...Im sure it is her wish to be here with her family for as long as she can..Im just wondering if it is to make it to Christmas....whatever the Lord gives long as she is happy and pain free we are thankful.....each day is heartbreaking to see but yet so warming to know she is still with us. In this season of miracles and salvation, we pray that the Lord take this situation and make it as he sees fitting...He does only goodness and
that is what we must continue to see as she remains here on earth with us.
As much as it hurts to see her lying so weak and pale we must remember it is the Lord who makes the decisions...not us. Marry Christmas to all......May God Bless you and keep you safe and Healthy .....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

were just running out of time...

we pray for the Angels......She is now on Morphine...she lies at home in her bed. Her wonderful husband and family are with her. Dear Lord, please do not let her suffer. She is scared..she comes and goes...she has fought so hard. We only pray she does not hurt.
Please pray for this wonderful wonderful person..she is our sister, wife, daughter, mother, aunt and friend. Dear Lord ...bless her..

were running out of time..

Im sorry I have not posted but it is getting harder to write the words. Aleisha was doing fairly well last week after leaving the hospital. Although she had gone home with hospice and we knew time was moving closer, it seemed as though when she was awake we could still laugh and cry together. She lost the use of her legs due to rapid weakness and one could see it affecting her upper body. She was on heavy doses of anti seizure medications which made her tire easily. Watching this strong willed fighter struggle through this was heart wretching. Buddy has shown his committment and love to his wife in so many ways throughout this battle. He has undying love for this woman and you can see in her eyes that she loves him in return. Their marraige of more than 20 years has been one of great happiness and many wonderful memories. They are and have always been truly committed to one another. Family continues to visit daily and help out with the chores and the children. Friends send meals so that caregivers and loved ones can stay with her. She has so many that truly love this woman and family. Christmas is only 3 days away and the Lord continues to provide her with strength. Today she suffers from more breathing issues and was placed on 0xygen as well as was started on Roxinal to help relax her. She continues to battle through this horrific fight to survive this monster of a disease. She is a
hero far beyond what she will ever know. She is loved and respected more than most people gain in a longer lifetime and as she continues to battle she weakens but not because she has no will to live, but because she truly cannot beat this beast.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The days continue to get harder..

Aleisha came home from the hospital on Tuesday. The doctors discussed hospice and they made their first visit on Tuesday evening. This was a familiar face as our mom's husband, Bud (our step dad) passed in May and this nurse was one of the great ones. Her name is Sara and she spent time assessing Aleisha and talking with her about how she was feeling. She then took the time to explain to the family and to Buddy how the meds would be arriving and how he wanted to set up the visits for the Nurse and the Aide. Some additional equipment will now be needed in the home as she requires more assistance. There will be no more alone times for her. Someone (probably 2 people when the kids are there) will be with her all the time. Her legs can no longer hold her, she has weakend tremendously. Her hands quiver and the right hand holds most of the strength. I tried to feed her pudding and she let me know that she still wanted to try that herself.....she is one strong willed woman! As her sister my personal goal for her is simple. I want to see healed, but should the Good Lord decide to take her in his arms, I wish for her to be seizure free while she is here, to be able to rest, to feel she is loved, and to hold on to whatever hope she continues to have....with every breath there remains hope...even if we think we are aware of the ultimate outcome we are not there until our breathing stops. That is my hope. Although I think Hospice is great (Im a nurse and I have seen them do awesome things for families) I think that talking about dying isnt for everyone...sometimes that is between a priest or minister and a person or even a person and their spouse. This family is supported by one another and we're all there for her..However she is afraid and to take away that tiny speck of hope isn't what its all about..especially not during the season of miracles. So I refuse to respond to her question of am I only response is that you are I am...with each breath we have life. The only way that can change is through the Lord. And that is my response.

Im going back home to see her tomorrow. Buddy (Husband) says she is sleeping most of the time now. Im hoping I get to talk with her just for a few minutes, but if not that's ok. This is not about me or anyone else..its about her. So we go and we smile and we rub her hands and legs (she likes that) and we appreciate the fact that we can still see her....and she is still breathing.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The cancer is closing in....

We had made big plans today, to get together and work at Aleisha's house as the chemo was taking quite a toll on her. She has been having episodes of falling and has been using a walker to ambulate for a few weeks. During the last visit to the Oncologist it was noted that the lesion in her brain had grown somewhat and that there was increased swelling noted around the spine. A spinal tap was done and last night Aleisha and Buddy received some bad news. The cancer has spread. It has now invaded the spinal column and the prognosis is extremely poor. In fact, the doctors have discussed the options and have come to the conclusion that they are now out of treatment options. She received her last dose of the Ipe Chemo on Thursday and they will watch, but that medication has not shown to be effective in the spinal area. Therefore little hope has been offered. We have been informed that most of these end stage patients surrender into a coma like state and then pass on.

The work at their home has been put on hold, as living day to day is now the goal. This strong woman has been through a battle that even the toughest would have difficulty fighting and nobody respects her more that I do for the fight she has endured. However it is now time for Hospice to enter the picture and time for us to support this family through the next process of this battle of hell. Everyone deserves dignity and she has shown courage and will throughout all of this. She and her family deserve to be respected with any of their choices as this hell continues to literally take her life. My heart aches for what I see this woman and her family going through. I can only pray that now the good Lord choses to follow and bless her during the rest of this journey. The doctors do not give her much time...not months, just weeks.....but our hope will continue for a miracle until that last breath and even then for peace.

Please Pray

Please pray for Aleisha.

She needs your prayers more than ever right now.