____ August 17th, 2021_____
We are all saddened by Kent's passing on August 11th, yet find solace in the many stories and memories from those whose lives he touched... and there are many!
Suze wanted to relay how grateful she is for all the love , support, and donations.
She plans to use the funds to pay for Kent's medical, and other expenses, and is so thankful that their financial responsibilities are covered by your generosity.
The remainder of the GoFundMe contributions she plans to use to create a scholarship in Kent's name that would support studio potters.
Kent always dreamed of creating scholarships that would provide funding for working potters to take a workshop, including money to pay for income lost during their time away from their studio practice. There will be more information to follow as she navigates through these next months.
----- July 27, 2021 -----
Just a quick message to let y'all know that yesterdays procedure, an endoscopy, went well but had a few hitches. It is now a 2 part procedure, with the gastroentreologist's first procedure to replace a stent near Kents bile duct, then empty his stomach of contents that have backed up over the last weeks -- causing so much discomfort. He did so well, and I can't say how relieved I was that he was no longer suffering -- finally able to sleep. The second procedure-- to put another stent in a different place, the duodenum, will happen tomorrow.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes... Love from both of us
------July 13, 2021------
Hard to write these days as Kent continues to suffer from this terrible disease. Food and water intake continues to be minimal, as the cramping of the abdomen never seems to dissipate. New drugs for relief are added to our countertop, and the one he just got, Creon, is used to treat people who cannot digest food normally because the pancreas is not making enough enzymes. We are hoping this is the ticket. Over these last weeks, we've gone in weekly for fluid IVs to help his body deal with this. This week, a walker, a wheelchair, and a recliner chair, have entered our home so he can be more comfortable in movements and rest.
The docs are also running more tests as there has been discrepancy between the blood marker test , CA 19-9, and other blood work. After more tests, we will know more.... He starts round # 3 tomorrow.
We've made successful move from Mission Hospital Oncology to Messino Cancer Center. It has been in the works-- for many reasons.... A few are-- Messino has a satellite cancer center in nearby Spruce Pine, and Kent can get treatments and the needed IV fluids there without the hour long drive. They are also on call in Spruce Pine over the weekends and rarely send people to the ER. Mission became a for profit hospital over 2 years ago, and the cost comparisons are stunning....For instance, one of the chemo drugs, the Abraxane is is $20,025.00 for one treatment at Mission , while at Messino--$3,684.00. Hard to believe the difference! There is a recent article "Death of a Hospital" by Chris Pomorski in June 7th New Yorker that talks about private equity deals and health care.....I wasn't paying attention before this. And I can't tell you all how grateful we are for the GoFundMe campaign that has allowed us not to have financial worry or burden while we go through this... thank you all for your support and love. We thought we had our insurance covered, along with a healthy HSA to handle emergencies, but not so when you are battling cancer.
More about Messino Cancer Cancer--- it is nonprofit, and has a huge support staff that has helped me navigate the financials, the nutrition, and has counseling. They work in co-ordination with alternative practices. Kent's acupuncturist, Cissy Majebe, has worked with Mike Messino for years.
Every day is a new challenge. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
-----July 2 -----
So so happy to write that this week we got some great news!!!! There is a blood test called CA 19-9 that is used by the doctors as a "tumor marker". Tumor markers are substances made by cancer cells or by normal cells in response to cancer in the body. High levels of CA19-9 are often a sign of pancreatic cancer. We've been waiting on results from June 29th test that was compared to what was drawn in April.. and it has dropped from 400 to 76!!! This means his treatments are working !! oh happy day!! His oncologist will continue to use this test as a guide to follow the disease, and make decisions about his treatment. It was just the boost Kent needed, as he continues to struggle with the daily impact of the chemo drugs. He has lost another 13 pounds as a result of the excruciating cramping in his belly, which has been curbed by meds, but has hindered food intake. I have been squirreling away anything I think he might desire, from watermelon to chicken soup, to Ensure. This week, I learned to make congee, an Asian rice porridge, that feels like real comfort food, and can be enhanced with toppings and accompaniments.... mine was shiitake mushrooms grown by our friends Nita and Tom. I continue to push fluids at him, so much so, that he has brought back one of my monikers..." the nag-a- gator", which is usually reserved for when we are in the car, and I'm in the passenger seat. And I have a new one for him--"the supervisor"......just when I think he's resting or not paying attention.... he is.
We just spoke to Suze last evening. They’re definitely exhausted and have a lot on their plate so I thought I’d write an update for them. First of all, they’d both like to express with the most humble of gratitude and thanks to all the friends, family, and supporters who are helping them during the most challenging time. Not enough hours in the day to tell you how thankful they are for the financial support; kind words; meals made; the physical help of people to keep their place going…. Just all the big and small things people have stepped up to do. So so appreciated.
The amount raised on the go-fund-me is covering their medical expenses so far! Still a long way to go, but what a blessing.
You can learn more and stay updated on their journey here:
Friends and Family,
Our dear friends, Kent McLaughlin and Suze Lindsay, need our support!
This past year, Kent has not been feeling 100%, and in April, after many medical visits and two emergency surgeries, he was finally diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer.
He has undergone 2 chemotherapy treatments and began seeing an acupuncturist that specializes in cancer patients.
His protocol includes chemotherapy to shrink the tumor before he is a candidate for a rather complicated Whipple surgery to remove the tumor. Once the is tumor removed, he will follow up with more cycles of chemotherapy.
Each day comes with its challenges, and Kent and Suze are bravely navigating this new normal for them.
It is a long road ahead for both Kent and Suze but as a collective community, we can help lighten the load. Suze is the now the primary caretaker which includes driving Kent to medical appointments, acupuncture, unexpected ER visits, and managing their medical bills. She and Kent are both not working in their studios which offers an additional financial burden.
How can you help?
Donate any amount to this fundraiser. All donations will go directly to Kent and Suze which will not only help with medical bills, but also help with all routine expenses.
Send cards to brighten their day
Send positive thoughts on healing and recovery
You can follow Kent’s progress here and at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kentmclaughlin
Thank you for supporting our friends!
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