“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1
For now, my family walks through a season of trials. Trials that have grown and tested the faith of each one of us in some way. Many know that my Daddy, Raymond Durham, has been battling colon cancer since early March 2019. However, not everyone knows of the countless challenges that Daddy and Momma have encountered over these past 8 months. While this list is not exhaustive, some of the expenses that have accrued are as follows: extended and unexpected hospitals stays for Daddy, hotel lodging and restaurant meal expenses for weeks on end, losing the engine in their car and having to tow it and replace it, losing freezers full of meat, loss of income due to being unable to work (and still having basic living expenses to pay), Momma being hospitalized also, the loss of livestock in snow storms, unexpected and emergent travel to my ailing grandfather, and so on. My folks have gone through the wringer this year.
On their behalf, I am seeking financial support for expenses associated with his cancer treatment, as they face the countless expenses that have accrued over the past 8 months. The financial burdens build as treatment continues. While it is not in their nature to ask for help, my desire is to rally family, friends, and whomever else feels compelled to contribute to their needs. Many people have approached my siblings and me inquiring how they can help. THIS is your opportunity! There are no physical needs that can be assisted at this time. Financial support is what is needed.
Daddy is one of the most generous, kindhearted, and strongest men I know. Our family is blessed to have his love and leadership. Being self-employed, this battle has taken a toll not just physically on his body, but mentally and of course financially. His faith is strong and he is fighting with his all. Momma has faithfully stood beside him fighting with him, just as he did for her when she was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in 1996. I am proud to be the daughter of two strong, faithful Christians, and I am thankful for the example they have been and continue to be to me. We, as a family, have endured trials, but the Lord remains faithful and true. God’s hand and tremendous care for our family has been evident through it all. While we do not know what tomorrow may bring, we know and trust that God will work it all according to His purpose. There is no better place we all would rather be.
“He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by.” ~Ecclesiastes 3:11-15
We thank you for your prayers, encouragement, outpouring of love and support, and your generosity! Please continue to pray for my Daddy’s health and for God’s will to be done.
Snapshots of the journey:
March 15, 2019- Daddy had surgery in Grand Junction (GJ) for his port and ileostomy. This anticipated 3-5 day recovery in the hospital turned into a 6 week ordeal with countless unforeseen complications and setbacks. He got dehydrated, lost 40 lbs, his digestive system refused to start-up again, had allergic reactions, was unable to eat, etc. Daddy became a medical mystery and doctors didn’t know what to do for him, saying, "We are fighting for his life right now". During this time, Daddy battled hard to regain his health and fought for his life. Momma faithfully sat by his side and fought for answers to be found. Much to our thankfulness to God, Daddy was finally discharged home on April 22, 2019.
April 30, 2019- Daddy began chemotherapy every other week in GJ for three day stretches. He wrapped that up on August 9, 2019. During this 3-month period of chemotherapy treatments, Daddy battled to gain back and maintain his weight. He was a champ through the chemotherapy itself, however! Momma and the boys traveled back and forth with him for treatments.
**Numerous trips to either the doctor, ER, or Craig or GJ hospital occurred throughout the summer due to Daddy’s dehydration and need for fluids.
August 26, 2019- Daddy started his 5 ½ week radiation treatment with an oral chemotherapy simultaneously in GJ. Momma and the boys all stayed in a hotel with him during this treatment.
October 7, 2019- Daddy was supposed to wrap up radiation, but the previous couple of weeks had really taken a toll on his body and health. Before he could even get his radiation treatment, he was admitted to the GJ hospital again because his kidneys showed signs that they were failing. A few days later, he was released.
October 12, 2019- Daddy was admitted to the hospital in Craig with dehydration and low sodium levels. A slow drip had to be administered in order to prevent cerebral edema and was discharged a few days later.
** Momma was also admitted to the hospital during this time, with concerns for heart related issues.
October 20, 2019- Daddy was admitted to the hospital again for the third time in 3 weeks for dehydration that causes his upper digestive system to not work properly. It was the first true only overnight hospital stay and we were SO very thankful!
** During this time, Daddy received routine, weekly bolus treatments through the ER to maintain proper hydration. He also went to the ER not feeling well and thinking he must have some type of infection. Doctors didn’t find anything and sent him home.
November 17, 2019- Daddy was admitted to the ER and later to the hospital ICU with a staph infection in his blood and port and extremely low blood pressure. An immediate removal of his port, isolation, a central line, a discovered blood clot, and a waiting game has ensued. His body is responding well to the protocol to treat the MSSR strain of the staph infection. The doctors determined it was MSSR and not going to be resistant to antibiotics. He began feeling better and the cultures began coming back clear. Praise the Lord!
November 23, 2019- Daddy continues to feel better, but all of the sudden his cultures for the staph infection are showing MRSA, which is resistant to antibiotics. His blood pressure has stabilized, and they continue to treat the blood clot. It is anticipated that he will get a PICC line instead of the central line at some point. He will be hospitalized indefinitely, as doctors once again are uncertain what has changed and is going on with him. We are so incredibly thankful he feels good! He was so looking forward to going home and not just sitting in a hospital room. That alone is disheartening, but coupled with the holidays and anticipated tumor removal surgery the week before Christmas, all is at a standstill. The Lord continues to answer our prayers, and we are hopeful for Daddy to regain his health soon!
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