Dearest Friends & Family,
How to put this day into words?
I don´t often do a ¨medical post¨; I usually keep it in The Latest page. However, these last 2 days are too important to not post them...
Two nights ago, Jenna woke me up in intense pain. I took her to the ER and they gave her pain meds and admitted her. I was so disappointed because we were to go that next morning to Budwig Center (the alternative therapies center) and it seemed like we were really getting somewhere little by little. But in the middle of the night, where can you go?? God knows our situation and He is in control.
The next day things began to unravel a little at a time...the critical piece of managing her pain is being resolved and she has been sleeping a lot, bits at a time. I can´t tell you how wonderful it was to see her sleep! It made me so happy. In the late afternoon her oncologist came by and ordered a sonogram and they planned to drain both her J-tube and more from her abdomen if it´s necessary. Then the GI Dr that had helped us out last Thurs/Fri and did her paracentesis came by to see her and is ordering another med to stimulate her GI system.
This Dr (whom we like a lot) also commented that she looked jaundiced and I had already been in touch with her Endocrinologist about her most recent bloodwork which is showing that her liver is really overworked. While the Endocrinologist says it´s common in patients with TPN (nutrition by vein) like Jenna, I still don´t like it and want to talk that over with her. After her sonogram in the endoscopy area by Dr. Hernandez (the GI Dr), he determined there was not much ¨free¨ liquid in her abdomen and that it was not necessary to do another paracentesis. Phew! He sent us down to Radiology to do a more extensive sonogram of her abdomen and especially her liver. We finished there about 9pm.
Dr. Hernandez came out to speak with Dani and I and spoke very seriously about her condition. He believes that the cancer has potentially spread to her liver, increasing her pain, distention and liver counts. It was a discouraging conversation even though he delivered it compassionately.
I prayed over Dani before she left for home that God would guard our minds & hearts from fear, that we would have sweet trust in a loving God and that He would perfectly complete His plan birthed in goodness. Dani is such a strength to me in Bruce´s absence.
Today the oncologist wanted to talk with me in his office. We all know what that means - not good. He said her situation is very complex and desperate. She is very critical. In spite of the PET scan and bloodwork for tumor levels being negative, the biopsy of the liquid taken from her abdomen came back positive. The sky-high liver counts are due, they believe, to tumors. Oh how I longed to have my husband by my side!
He believes she has 1-2 weeks to live.
Thank God our dear friends Alex and Amy were with me when this news was communicated. They were with Jenna while I met with him and stayed on with us for quite a while. Then our teammates started arriving...what would we do without Ivan y Lorena, Kory & Laura, Kyle and Nell? They are all angels to me. Later they communicated with Ted & Claudia who are currently traveling in Brazil and they called me, too.
I finally got a hold of Bruce who is 9 hrs behind us in Arizona. What a relief! He was as shocked as we had been. We cried and prayed and talked. He was thankfully able to change his ticket to leave today and so will be with us tomorrow midday.
I had the difficult task of communicating this with Dani and Jordan. We are all broken hearted but trusting at the same time. Jenna is so full of love for us and we can´t imagine life without her or our family unit without her...
We also spoke with the Endocrinologist since the oncologist said we needed to decide if we were to continue her nutrition or not...on the one hand, he feels that continuing to pour in nutrition is oversaturating an already compromised system and is prolonging her suffering...to not continue it could increase her quality of life but not its length. It didn´t take Jenna long to decide that she may not have control over cancer but she will not willingly die of starvation! We proposed to the Endocrinologist that she adjust her nutrition to the lightest possible nutrition with fewer calories to tax her liver as little as possible but that we keep her hydrated and at least minimally nourished. We can monitor the rest of the symptoms as we go.
I spent a lot of time today with people, my children, Drs & nurses and on the phone and I am just now getting to the blog to let all you dear ones know...How I wish I had better news for you who have been by our sides constantly in all these months! I pray God will reward your love & sacrifice...
The kids and I are altogether tonight here at the hospital. We will all spend the night and Dani & Jordan have both decided to go to school tomorrow...they feel it will be a good distraction and Jordan longs to be among his friends who understand him in ways perhaps we can't. After we had broken the news to him, cried, prayed and loved on Jenna for quite a while, he was then on his cell all afternoon, talking & crying with a number of his classmates. They will both come back here midday where we will reunite with Bruce. Our family is so, so very precious to us.
There is perhaps more to say but that is enough for today. We will keep you posted.
I have no words for all of you who have journeyed with us this year. He is able! Let us all enter into a sweet trust in His perfect goodness and plan, a rest in His love & power, a complete surrender to all He has - whatever the shape it takes.
So much love to you all,
for Bruce, Jenna, Daniela and Jordan