They say God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. As of late, I beg to differ. Two years ago, I stopped saying “Things have to get better, RIGHT?” because quite frankly, every time that thought crossed my mind, another bad thing happened.
Cathy had reached her limit last Monday. The barium from Monday morning’s scans made her incredibly nauseous on top of the excruciating pain she was already enduring. I can’t fathom the pain of vomiting with a broken spine. As brave and determined as she’s been through all this, she had had enough; she was done. She was ready to get off this hellish ride and to be honest, I can’t blame her. As heartbreaking as it was to hear, she’s endured so much horrific pain due to her crumbling spine on top of all the other things too sad and difficult to discuss on this page.
She told Kelly she didn’t want any more treatment and wanted to cancel the appointment with the new doctor from a pain institute in Grand Rapids. Her daughter hauled her butt in anyway and it is at that moment, we witnessed God’s Grace in action.
The doctor argued with Cathy when she told him she was done. He’s like “You are so not done! I can help you!” He asked his team to work after hours so she wouldn’t have to some back, then treated her right then and there. She received 10 epidural injections into her spinal cord. I can’t remember all the details but Kelly knows. I think there were three parts to each injection. She can best describe it as she was allowed to stay in, watch and give input during the procedure. I know, my niece rocks. I would have dropped to the floor.
The procedure was challenging and painful on her spine due to laying on a table. Because the appointment was only supposed to be a consultation, both pain patches and pain meds had worn off by the time she was out of recovery and back home. I’ve never seen her worse than I did that night. It was so incredibly sad to see her so sick and in so much pain.
All her kids were at her condo that night. Her son and daughter-in-law were finishing up the new walk-in shower that Pat tiled for her as their two boys quietly read nearby on the hallway floor. Her daughter caught Cath up on all her meds and patches and within two hours, Cath was starting to come around.
She was still sick from the barium but for the first time since Thanksgiving, she started feeling some relief. Finally, she was feeling well enough to get out. I packed her up and took her to our new paint booth at the Wilson Avenue Changing Thymes in Grandville so we could bat some ideas around for our space. We had to close our Jenison shop down so Changing Thymes was a blessing in disguise. A lot of our customers are already finding us there and we were happy to see a few of them while we were there on Friday.
We’re now located at Changing Thymes on Wilson
We had a blast and she did fantastic, though I threatened to park her in a corner twice when she got sassy. She solved the empty corner dilemma by scoping out some crates one of the other vendors was selling. They were a perfect fit!
Here’s Cathy seeing our NEW LOCATION for the 1st time!
2900 Wilson, Grandville, MI 49418 ~ Vendor #4150
It was so nice to see Cath out doing something fun. I kept thinking we’d have to fly out of there due to pain but she did awesome!
She even went into Costco with me when I picked up my temporary glasses. THANK YOU COSTCO! I can now see to read, work and safely drive! Thank you Jesus!! Another blessing this week! She was funny though at Costco. I was going to haul out her wheelchair from the back but she said “I think they have motorized carts here”. Sure enough, she was right. Before I shut the door to the truck, she had zipped off into the store.
Saturday, she went to the bowling alley to watch Kelly & her family bowl. She said it was so much fun to watch the kids doing something fun. It has been a good week and we are so very thankful for each and every hour of it.
Tomorrow I’m taking her in to meet with her oncologist. Scans showed that the tumors in her spine, skull and lungs are significantly shrinking! Yay!! Ironically, they also showed some concerning things going on in her hips. Dr. Santos is consulting with an orthopedic oncologist to figure out what’s going on and what can be done to help strengthen their fragile state. We’ll learn more about this tomorrow but for now, he doesn’t want her getting out of bed. Prayers are appreciated.
We’re very thankful for some pain relief. We’re thankful that her existing tumors are shrinking. We are so thankful mom is finished with radiation; we are thankful that after three months I can finally see using the special (temporary) glasses. We are also ecstatic that Cath was able to get out and experience some fun days. We are thankful for the doctor at Javery Pain I ~ what a huge huge blessing!. And I am thankful for the random act of kindness from complete stranger who go generously came into my life and repaired my mirror when the Ford dealership left me with no hope for replacement.
Thank you for your continued prayers. This journey is long from over and we need appreciate every prayer along the way. Thank you!! Have a great week! Shelly
Acts of kindness are still greatly appreciated. Cath is home much of the time and can often use a hand with errands, light household chores… We’re doing our best to take care of those things for her but we have got to start earning some money for our own families as well so if there’s any small gesture of help anyone can offer, it would help immensely. There are so many ways to help even if it’s a five minute task of making her a cup of coffee, throwing in a load of laundry or mopping the floor. It helps and right now is a good time to pop in for a visit ~ as long as your healthy. Small amounts of groceries and meals also help out a lot. It’s the little things, some tortillas, chicken, cheese, fresh salsa and sour cream make for some killer quesadillas. Cath isn’t eating much of anything these days. Mom isn’t either but she’s trying; she knows she needs to put weight back on and is doing the best she can to get there. The gift cards to Russ’s… have definitely been put to good use. Thank you! All these things are all priceless. Meals have died down but the link is still active if you’re so inclined to help any of us out that way too: Take Them a Meal.
Cath should be on the right track with the right insurance now but there are still a lot of bills rolling and our income has substantially decreased with both Cathy and I being unable to work. I’m heading in the right direction with my arm and have been able to keep the business afloat by cutting out a lot of unnecessary overhead, the assistance of many amazing friends, customers, volunteers and by the Grace of God and am forever grateful!
I did set up a GoFundMe Account to help Cath out during this time of need. Donations for Cathy can be made by clicking this link: Cathy’s Go Fund Me Account https://www.gofundme.com/cathys-medical-fund-for-cancer for anyone who’s inclined to do so.