"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Moving Fast

Things have been moving so fast and changing each day. Mom's strength and courage brings us all comfort and hope but reality quickly sets in when we're faced with constant battles we can not control.

After trips to Indiana and Chicago we've learned that Mom is not a candidate for the clinical trial because she doesn't have a certain type of tissue match they are looking for. We also discovered that she may have 2 types of cancer; breast and the gastric cancer. As you can imagine this was very shocking and mind blowing. If the genetic specialist could figure out exactly what cancers she has, this would open doors for more types of treatments.  The challenge however is that each day she's getting weaker and the cancer is growing stronger.

Family and friends have been an amazing support. Mom requires full time care in all aspects. Our aunts have arranged caregiver schedule along with medication and food lists and have been extremely helpful with doctors visits and summarizing the details of this information.

I'm going home in 3 days but it feels like it's 3 months away. Hang on Momma... I'm coming home!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Update: Difficult Times

Just when you fear the worst times have arrived, there is a glimmer of hope and you realize that another day has passed.  You wish each day would improve over time, but perhaps things stay the same.  You search for something to look forward to and you search for good news to come.  Difficult times have arrived and difficult times have also been conquered in the past.  Our famous words are "One Day at A Time" "Just Keep Swimming "Hang in There" "A Bad Day is Only 24 Hours" and probably many more that I can't recall at this moment.  It's an amazing bond that's formed during difficult times but it's even harder to keep calm and not let stress overtake your words and actions.  I have confidence that our family bond is strong and that our communication and love will help us continue to survive these hard times. Unfortunately love and attention for others do not get the attention we wish to provide.  We know you all understand and can not thank you enough for this.

Mom is hanging in there like an olympic champion and continues to amaze us every single day.  She completed radiation shortly after Josh's wedding and then the hard times started.  Horrible symptoms of severe pain, nausea and throwing up prevented Mom from being able to eat or drink much.  She was very weak and in so much pain that she requested an ER visit for fluids and pain meds.  After several days they were able to work on the pain and help her keep food and drink down.  Once she was released from the hospital she required full-time care as we tried to figure out the balance between hitting the pain meds before the nausea set in so she could eat and drink.  Because of this condition Mom was not able to receive chemotherapy following the radiation treatment.

A glimmer of hope arrived during her oncology visit when he doctor informed us that a Stage 2 Clinical trial was being performed in Indiana for her type of cancer.  Immunotherapy will teach her body how to identify and start to fight off the cancer.  Mom eagerly accepted the invitation and made plans for the trip.  After arriving in Indiana she had a brief hospital visit but was able to pull through and attend her appointment the following day.

We received good news about the same study being done in Chicago, which is much closer.  The doctors also put us in contact with a genetic specialist who works with this type of cancer.  My sisters and Aunt Barb have been extremely helpful in working through all of these challenges this past month.  Our family and friends have been amazing with their love and support, we are truly blessed and appreciate you all!

The journey continues and we are taking "One Day at A Time"...

With Love Always,
The Franke Kids