Due to the quick growth of my moms tumor and the presence of cancer in her lymph nodes, the oncologist team decided to take a very aggressive route in her treatment. They decided to treat her with chemo first before her surgery so that they could verify that the chemo was actually killing and shrinking her cancer. This method actually makes a lot of common sense. If after 4 weeks there was no change in the tumor size they would know they needed to change chemotherapy and find the correct treatment. The plan was to complete chemotherapy, have the lumpectomy and full auxiliary disection of her lymph nodes surgery and then go through radiation. Well... due to an infection and complications, her diverticulitis flared up resulting in the eruption of her colon. This ridiculously dangerous complication has made for a painful and long process on her body. By the grace of God she made it through surgery, has healed, and is now ready to proceed with her cancer treatment.
Last week I asked my mother if I could have permission to share her story with the readers of this blog. So many of you have shared that my story has helped you understand this disease, understand how to care for others and understand how to support friends walking this this cancer journey. Her story is different than mine in a number of ways. We were different ages when diagnosed, in different phases of life, had different forms of treatment and have both had different effects of chemo on our bodies. Additionally, something different about my moms story is the example of the danger associated with chemo and how infection while going through treatment can potentially end up throwing you at deaths door.
She willingly agreed to share her story. Below you will find copies of the emails that she sent out to her close friends and family throughout this fight. It is her (and my) prayer that her story and perspective may help others see how they can understand, encourage and walk with people in their lives effected by cancer. Enjoy the read.
|My parents - (November 2012)|
Celebrating 40 yrs of marriage next month
The Story of My Mom's Cancer Fight:
March 7, 2013
March 14, 2013
|Just days before moms 1st chemotherapy treatment.|
To celebrate my cancer battle fight and to mark
an item off my bucket list, we went on an amazing hot air balloon ride.
March 20, 2013
March 26, 2013
April 3, 2013
April 10, 2013
April 19, 2013
May 2, 2013
May 29, 2013
This is from Kris's kids. A few days ago, our mom started having intense pain in her abdomen area. She thought the pain was related to the chemo treatment which she had last Friday. Well, it wasn't. Apparently the pain is because her diverticulitis has flared up and she has an infection in her intestine, colon and it has now traveled up through her diaphragm. She was prepped for emergency surgery. The doctor waited until we all arrived so we were able to say goodbye. Katie, Casey, Dad that I walked with her to the surgery room door until we couldn't go further. There even was a guy from church youth group who was the nurse.... Passing her along to someone we know and trust is a blessing. She will be in surgery for a about three hours. The doctor is actually In oncology surgeon, so he really understands what he's doing and how to handle the other factors. He was honest and clear, this surgery has a 50% mortality rate. He said that they are basically doing damage control and that we need to pray that the neupogen medicine that they give her will help her white blood cell count to continue to fight the infection. Now we are just waiting here... it should be about three hours until we know something. We will write again tomorrow when we know more and understand what's going on.
Thank you for your love prayers support and good wishes.
Love Gary, Kelly, Katie and Casey
May 31, 2013
|This pic was taken the day mom left ICU and |
was admitted to a regular room. Lookin good - don't you think?
June 5, 2013
Written by Katie
June 6, 2013
|I wanted to thank you all so much for your prayers for my mom, Kris Criswell Randall and family. Here is an update on her and we would continue to ask for prayer if you will.|
As of today, my mom, Kris, is being healed by our wonderful Lord. First, her white blood cell count went up a few days after the surgery and has stayed up to fight off the infection and to heal her body. The doctor is very pleased with how she is recovering. She is able to get up and down out of bed by herself and walk up and down the hall.Today the physical therapist released her and said she can do it all on her own. She still gets very tired walking but she no longer needs assistance. As of yesterday, she is eating solid foods and drinking without getting sick. She was having lots of fluid in her lungs this last week but that is now gone and she is breathing so much better. She still has a lot of swelling in her legs and a ton of pain from the surgery. She was hooked up to a would vacuum yesterday which gives her pain most of the time but it should help her to heal much faster. Her spirit is good and she was smiling and crying good tears today. It was so wonderful to be with her this afternoon. I am very blessed that God saved my mom from this infection and that I can be here with her so much. I will be assisting her with her wound recovery for a little while once she is out of the hospital. I feel honoured that I can serve my mom this way. She should be able to go home in a few days and hopefully get back to church and normal life in a few weeks.
She still has the cancerous tumors in her body which will be addressed in about 2 months. Her oncologist is thinking she will have surgery to have them removed in 6-8 weeks then my mom will decide if she wants to have any further treatment. Thank you again for your prayers. Please keep them coming because she still has a long road of recovery ahead of her.
Written by Katie
June 30. 2013
|Not knowing if mom would be able to attend|
Leah's 3rd birthday party, we brought the party
to her. Leah arrived in her Cinderella gown
and of course Nathan had to be sure to appear
in costume too. They sure do love their
Grandma & Pops.
July 14, 2013