Christmas this year however was not the same. Mom had been experiencing some abdominal discomfort and back pain for a couple weeks so she was barely out of bed at all. We managed to get the Christmas tree up for her a few days before the holiday thank goodness as little did we know this would be our last Christmas with her. Mom was not able to get out of bed to see the smiles and joy on her grand babies faces as they lit up when they opened their presents because her pain became too much to bare. We insisted she go to the Emergency Room Christmas evening. They did an ultrasound of her abdomen which led to an endoscopic ultrasound several days later that revealed some cells that were suspicious of pancreatic cancer. As anyone can imagine we were devastated but optimistic as nothing was yet confirmed. We were referred to one of the best surgeons in the state.
The surgeon confirmed that mom did in fact have pancreatic cancer. As she told us all the facts and medical jargon my mind just went blank. I couldn’t speak, I could think, I couldn’t move. Dad was in tears. I knew what this meant. I wanted to take this from her and bear it for her, not my mom. I heard my mom say, “ so your saying three to six months ? .”
We were trying to stay hopeful at this point, with the surgery if they could catch it and remove it we could have another year maybe five with her.
My mom was scheduled for a pancreatectomy and splenectomy on January 19. She did not make it to her surgery date. She was in the hospital almost two weeks prior to that because of the unbearable pain she was enduring and had to have emergency surgery. The cancer was so wide spread they had to remove part of her intestine which left her with an ileostomy. The scheduled surgery could not be performed and she came straight out of surgery to the SICU with an ileostomy on a ventilator. Two days later her ileostomy leaked and had to have another emergency surgery or risk sepsis and die. Our poor dad was just a wreck, his wife of 52 years was going through all this torture and he was helpless.
She returned from surgery still on the ventilator. She also now had a colostomy along w a 12 in incision down her abdomen connected to a wound vac and a jp drain.
Two days later mom was extubated off the ventilator for the second time and she went into full arrest. Thanks to the great medical team they got her back for us. But she was reintubated. Mom spent 11 days in the SICU. The last two days she was able to be extubated and off the ventilator and talk to us for a short time. I don’t think I can convey to you how intense the pain was for my mom. It was so hard to watch her endure that. This is a woman that is the matriarch of our family, she is strong and has already taken so much pain throughout her life. This was enough, this was too much to watch her have to go through this.
We decided to move her to Hospice so she could be as comfortable as she could possibly be, she deserved at least that if it was all we could do for her.
We moved mom to Hospice and she spent several days there. Mom decided it was time to leave us two minutes into her 71st birthday.
This entire nightmare if you will, happened faster than you can blink. In a month we went from stomach / back pain to terminal pancreatic cancer and she was gone.
My parents did not have life insurance. They live on social security which will now be cut in half. This will affect every aspect of his life and living. He can’t afford a funeral and the astronomical medical bills are already piling up and we children know this will just get worse for him.
My mother was one of the kindest most caring people I know she never spoke a harsh word to anyone. When you needed her she was there. She worked at key bank for 25 years, they adopted families at Christmas time in need every year. My father is the same way, he would give you the shirt off his back and go without.
I am asking if anyone has$5,$10 to donate to help my dad, my family out during this tragic time we would be eternally grateful. This will hopefully help him pay all of the medical expenses that came to us so tragically sudden and avoid losing a roof over his head.
Thank you all for your kind thought of prayers and love they help us more than we can ever convey. Lots of love~Sharon’s family xoxo
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