HOPE REIGNS Supreme

My Precious Stephanie...temporary art as she prepared to go to an event about six months ago

Source

Adversity will not get us down

Friday night, July 15, my grandson, Jay, called to tell me my daughter, Stephanie, was been taken to the ER by ambulance. Could I come over to help with baby? Of, course.


And she remained in the hospital through yesterday...only coming home because baby has surgery today and she had to be there.

The next few weeks are filled with clinic appointments and adjusting to her new normal.

She has been diagnosed with pancreatitis which is trending toward pancreatic cancer....NO ONE wants to hear those words. She has faced off with so many cancers ...this one is a biggie...but HOPE REIGNS.

She also is insulin resistant so is on another medication.

She has an upcoming surgery in which a new ICD is being implanted IF they determine that her heart is strong enough for the procedure. So, in a nutshell, more stuff is on her plate.

More information too about baby which is being shared in one of the hubs about Heston Wayne...http://hubpages.com/health/The-Journey-BeginsSix-Year-Old-Grandsons-Fight-to-Survive


The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started.

— Norman Cousins

What is all this talk about HOPE?

The answer to this question is a personal one that each of us will answer in our own way.

For my family and me, hope has brought us full circle through the many years of living with cancer and the devastation it causes.

With hope we begin each day being thankful that a new day has come and that we will make the most of those moments that now present themselves.

Hope is a promise of better things to come.

Jay with his Baby Brother

I adore this photo as we were told Jay would never live past age 6...and here  he is holding his baby brother. And we do not take his life for granted for one minute.
I adore this photo as we were told Jay would never live past age 6...and here he is holding his baby brother. And we do not take his life for granted for one minute. | Source

An Unwanted Odyssey....

About 17 years ago an unwanted odyssey began for our family that we would have never dreamed we would experience. And given the choice, one we would have rather not been a part of.

Those of you who have read my writings know that I have written about my daughter's and grandson's journey these many years with cancer.

To fully understand what has transpired it would be helpful if you read some of the hubs that I have attached to this one. These hubs will provide much background information for you.


... Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

Facing the Diagnosis

Over the years we have heard words we did not want to hear. Words we wanted to deny and ignore.

Words that made us want to cover our ears to block the sound of those piercing, cutting words.

We would hear that time was short for both my daughter and my grandson.

When my grandson Jay was first diagnosed, he was four. And we were told to prepare ourselves because he would never live to be six. Then it was nine. Surely he would never ever be 13. And, now we are so thankful. So very humbled. For in just a few short days, he turns 21!!!

My daughter was told so many times that she too would succumb to cancer sooner rather than later. As a matter of fact, she was told early on to 'party like a rock star' as she had not much time left on the planet. That was eleven years ago.

Can I just say how thankful we once again feel?

After that time, when my daughter would go in for further treatment or assessment, the doctor would often say, 'You know you really aren't supposed to be here, don't you?"

And she would smile and say, "But I AM."

More times than not, the doctor would reply, "It is nothing short of miraculous that you are!!"


Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.

— Dale Carnegie

We Take Nothing for Granted

Jay, grandson who has climbed many mountains, today still has many physical issues and still has chemo.

When he has his chemo treatments, it lays him out for at least three days. And then he emerges, and soldiers on.

And we are so thankful.

Hope...right in front of us....

Hope Keeps Her Going

My daughter has had many low moments over the years. Times when her doctors gave dire predictions and cautioned us that she may not make it through 'this' treatment.

And as the cancers spread throughout her body, HOPE became our constant companion. That seems like a contradiction, doesn't it? But the more difficult things became, the greater our resolve to hold on to HOPE.

Fear had a way of trying to steal some moments but we all refused to allow that to happen.

That is not to say that we have not (do not) do what I call 'crashing and burning' from time to time. For a brief time, and I do mean brief, the reality of the horror of her physical condition and Jay's as well will wash over us and we allow tears to come and to flow.

And then we pick up our pieces and stow away the angst till the burden of it all becomes almost too much to stand and then we allow ourselves the briefest time to be human.

However, we do not live in a place of sadness or sorrow. We made an agreement to not let one moment of any day be lost by trying to second guess the past...no 'what ifs' are allowed.

We embrace each day and squeeze as much joy from each day as we possibly can.

Hope Reigns

As was alluded to in the previous paragraph cancer has spread throughout Stef's body and the prognosis has always been grim. But Hope Reigns....

Giving up has never been an option. Through the pain, the nausea, the vomiting (even now}, balding head (which was such a small thing in the scheme of things), the bad news every time she went in for a check up..saying "I am defeated" has never been a choice.

Too much to live for...a son who lives on despite the prediction he would not, a baby (Now almost six) that was predicted would never make it on the planet, and a loving husband who has supported her and continues to even now.

And now the baby is ill. That is another story for another day.

No situation is ever HOPELESS unless we allow it to become that way.


More Challenges

Over the years the treatments (chemo, radiation, and clinical trial after clinical trial) have ravaged her already devastated body.

Her heart has been seriously damaged. She has had more than one IED (implantable electronic device) implanted to help cause her weakened heart to function in a way that would allow her, too, to soldier on.

Within the last year her heart has become more and more weak. She has much less energy, is tired most of the time, fatigues easily, and passes out ...too often.

The IED she has now is hooked to a telemetry system that alerts those who monitor her of an issue with her heart even when she is unaware something has happened.

Not Words We Wanted to Hear...

About six weeks ago, she received a call from her cardiologist early one morning asking her to come in and tell her of her visit to the ER in the wee hours of that same morning.

Stef replied that she had not gone to the ER---she had been sleeping.

Through telemetry her cardiologist had been given information that Stef had a heart attack. Thankfully it was not severe enough to waken her or to cause her demise.

However the doctor had her come in to her office and they had discussions about what is next.

One thing for sure is that another, much more serious heart attack is on the way. Not if, but when.

Plans were made to have a new IED put in but after further testing and evaluation it was determined that her heart is too weak for any type of surgery. That includes no more surgery to remove cancer ...surgeries that had been planned before this new wrinkle appeared.

Stef has always wanted complete candor and honesty from her doctors. So her cardiologist told her that she has no more than five years on 'this' heart. And she is not a candidate for a new heart obviously as she would not survive the surgery.

Stef, of course, smiled and said, "You all have been throwing numbers at me for seventeen years and I am still here." So once again, HOPE reigns.

So we live with this new wrinkle. And each day becomes even more precious.

There is one medication that could possibly help her but the side effects are extremely dangerous. Weighing the options is where she is right now with a decision about the medication.

I guess for anyone reading this the temptation is to say, "O, how sad. That poor family...how much can they bear."

But No, not at all. Stuff happens to every family, Unwanted, dreaded STUFF.

And like us, most families soldier on.

Life after all is about making choices. We can choose to make the proverbial lemonade when unwanted lemons appear. Or we can give up....we can say 'it is hopeless, what is the use?'

As for us, we have chosen to remain armored with HOPE and the belief that each new day is indeed a most precious gift and one to be treasured and lived to the fullest.

If you face catastrophic illness, know that trying to live 'down the road', embracing the 'what if's', wasting time asking 'why' is fruitless.

Find your courage and go forth. That is what we do. Easy? No, not at all.

But it has caused us to live our lives as we believe we always should have...in the present.

Reveling in the moments of the now rather than looking back or trying to see tomorrow.

Today is our reality and we are so thankful for it!!!!

HOPE does indeed REIGN.

If you need someone to share with about the challenges facing you, feel free to email me. I have NO answers, but sometimes just unloading is a great help.

More by this Author


Comments 52 comments

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 weeks ago from sunny Florida Author

You are so right, Peggy. Our Lord is the one who knows how our lives will unfold. One thing we know for certain is that He is carrying us right now. It is a BIG mountain this time....but we TRY to live one day at a time as that is all we have.

Thank you, dear lady, for your continued support and concern. Angels are on the way to you bringing blessings and hugs ps


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

Continued blessings to each and every one of your family members. You and your family members serve as role models to how each of us should live our daily lives. No one can predict the future except our Creator and our ultimate future is in the life beyond this one. Living with hope makes each day brighter. Hugs, love and prayers to you!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 7 weeks ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks for stopping to read and comment, norlawrence...We remain ever hopeful...each new day is one more opportunity to be thankful and revel in the wonders of the newness of this day.

Angels are once again on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you for stopping, Norl....We are so thankful for all of those who wish us well and send us prayers and positive energy.

Angels are on the way to you today ps


norlawrence profile image

norlawrence 3 months ago from California

A very sad article but beautifully written. Thanks for the share.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 5 months ago from sunny Florida Author

We are so blessed, Flourish. I do think that is a huge reason why we can still speak a sentence that sort of makes sense....each day is so precious and we have learned to live within Hope's presence and embrace each day with joy.

Thank you once again for visiting.

Angels on the way ps


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

Your family displays such strength and optimism in the face of adversity, and I wish you all the very best as you continue to soldier on. Blessings.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 5 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Truth be told, Audrey, we made a pact many many years ago to bathe our lives in HOPE. That does not mean that we do not falter at times and crash and burn but we inevitably get up and keep on going. There is just too much goodness that surrounds us to ever be hopeLESS.

Thank you for stopping.

Angels are headed your way. ps


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 5 months ago from California

Hugs to you and to your family! I have been lucky in some ways--even though I have had my share of loss, I have not had cancer reach into my life yet--but I thin it is only a yet really--the decisions to hope and to love and to live are all ones that we face in one way or another--your hub is inspirational --I can feel that daily choice here--and I hope that you and your family continue to make that choice


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 5 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Sheila

You know, it is a journey. And we do have times when we crash and burn but we do not live in sadness and sorrow. So much goodness has come our way that we refuse to give in and give up.

Thank you so much for your kind words.

Angels are once again winging their way to you ps


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 5 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

It is obvious that God has a plan for all of you. Perhaps sharing your stories of courage, hope and faith are a part of it. We never know just how strong we can be until we are faced with challenges that we think we cannot bear, yet we do. My prayers go out to you and your family. I know you will all stay strong, but on those days that it is difficult, remember all the people that are praying for you!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 8 months ago from sunny Florida Author

We are indeed blessed, tebo..even though stuff happens, we have learned to roll with it....no one every said this walk would be easy...HE just promised to walk with us and carry us when we could not soldier on alone.

Angels are once again headed your way thank you for visiting ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 8 months ago from sunny Florida Author

I am so humbled by your words, Shauna....so much has happened since I wrote this...but we will keep on climbing each mountain and embracing the joy of each new day....not letting anything steal any moment of any day.

Each of us faces challenges as we walk this planet...we just have a choice as to how we meet them and soldier on.

Know that many Angels are on the way ps


tebo profile image

tebo 8 months ago from New Zealand

What a lovely hub and thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you all have the right attitude and maybe that is why you all keep ticking on. You have had a lot of unfortunate happenings in your lives and I hope that things will improve for you all soon. Good on you for remaining positive.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 8 months ago from Central Florida

Pat, your family is proof that hope exists and gives us the strength to deal with whatever comes our way. I think an important part of your message is to live today for today. The past is gone and the future is unknown. But we have here and now.

I admire the strength and acceptance with which your daughter and grandson face each day. Life really is a gift to be treasured.

Thank you for sharing your story.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you Deb for the gift and thanks too to the birdies....we gladly and graciously receive all such gifts.

Stubborn and refusing to give up are indeed great descriptors for this family.

Angels are on the way to you ps


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 9 months ago from Stillwater, OK

I believe that the ultimate secret is that attitude prevails in this. If one refuses to be knocked down, then it won't happen. Stubborn as a mule has its advantages. I fill your hearts and souls with love and strength. It is my gift from me and the birds.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you Peggy..I am sooo appreciative of your kind words. We soldier on...God is in the house...thank you for the positive vibes. Angels. Blessings. And hugs are on the way. ps


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 9 months ago from Houston, Texas

The way you and your entire family approach life is an inspiration to us all. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. Some have indications such as the prognosis from doctors but they do not have the final say. For those who believe that this life is only a stepping stone to the next eternal one...is comfort. It sounds as though each of your family members lives each day of life to the fullest extent possible which is how we should all approach our days. Blessings to you and your family Patricia. You have my thoughts and prayers.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you for stopping ... we do remain hopeful and optimistic for sure.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

You are so right...always exploring. Unexpected things come up all the time and we can become mired down in the unfairness and gravity of it all or we can choose to believe that no situation is hopeless from the onset

Thank you for stopping to visit. Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks Faith Just know that you are appreciated and hearing from you is a good thing.

Our lives are so blessed.

Angels are once again on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks Clive...it is nice to see you here. We are indeed blessed and take nada for granted.

Wishing you a lovely day

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning Shyron Thank you for stopping to visit. We are so thankful that so many help us to traverse the 'troubled waters' in the past and now.

Our faith remains strong and our belief that hope can be life sustaining keeps us going.

Angels are once again on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you Chitangada..We are so very blessed. We remain hopeful every single day. It keeps us going.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

You know, Bill, I feel the same way about you. You always have supportive words to share with me and believe me, I draw strength from sweet people like you.

It is a journey...no other word seems to work to describe it. Last night we had a celebratory dinner with my now 21 year old grandson...I can tell you my heart was singing every moment of the meal.

thank you my friend for stopping by...Angels are once again on the way to you ps


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 9 months ago from New Delhi, India

An important hub that needs to be read by everyone!

I am deeply touched to go through your hub and these lines are so positive, "--- we have chosen to remain armoured with HOPE and the belief that each new day is indeed a most precious gift and one to be treasured and lived to the fullest."

Your daughter and grandson's journey is an inspiration.

My Prayers and God bless your family!

I had written a comment earlier earlier but could not find it here.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

O, sweet Faith...I do feel the love here. I have been absent so much as there is so much going on with our family and we are so busy living each moment of each new day

Love is definitely a HUGE part of our lives...

How blessed we are to have each other to have the HOPE that each new day promises.

I have missed reading your work and feeling the good vibes from you, Faith..Angels are once again on the way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Swalia we are so very greatful each day.

Hope has kept us focused on each new day.

Thank you so much for stopping Angels are on the way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks again, Rachel. I found your other comment. We are so blessed....each and every minute of every day is a gift.

I do so appreciate hearing from you each time you stop.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

You are so sweet, Rachel. We have been able to face The health issues that have come our way for a number of reasons not the least of which is because of HOPE. Hope has a power of its own...and we are so very thankful for God's love.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


Rachel L Alba profile image

Rachel L Alba 9 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

Hi Pat, I posted a comment before but I don't see it here. I'm sorry about that, I don't know what happened. Jackie Lynnley said it right that hope is a whole lot of faith. Your hub on hope is encouraging to those of us who need it. I'm sorry about all you and your family are going through, but prayers are being said for you all. Keep up your hope/faith.

Blessings to you.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

thank you so much Swalia for stopping by..our journey is by no means unique. So many around the world face the same challenges ....without HOPE I do not think we would have made it up and over so many mountains...mountains that God continues to carry us over.

Once again Angels are headed your way ps


swalia profile image

swalia 9 months ago

A very touching hub. Your daughter and grandson's journey is an inspiration. Prayers and blessings!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 9 months ago

Patricia, Hope and Fait is what keeps us going and I am hopeful that all will be well with you.

Angels are on the way to you with Blessing and Hugs and love a prayers from me.

Never lose Faith!

Shyron


MsDora profile image

MsDora 9 months ago from The Caribbean

Patricia, you're certainly qualified to talk about Hope. Thank you for sharing your awesome testimony of how it keeps your family going. God's blessings as you move forward!


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 9 months ago from New Delhi, India

An important and touching hub!

We all need to read this message to always have hope and think positive. Your daughter and grandson's journey is a true and powerful testimony to always retain hope.

"---we have chosen to remain armoured with HOPE and the belief that each new day is indeed a most precious gift and one to be treasured and lived to the fullest." ----These words mean so much and have summed up your sentiments.

God bless you and your family ! Wish you all the best !


DDE profile image

DDE 9 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I believe in living for the present I don't know the future and left the past there. A wonderful message here.


DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

DrBill-WmL-Smith 9 months ago from Hollister, MO

I support any and every message of HOPE. Thank you for sharing, and best wishes to each and every one. ;-)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

Hi Dear PS,

You are your family are such an inspiration to all. None of us know what life will throw at us, but with hope in our hearts, together with faith, each day can be a blessing. I believe hope and faith go hand in hand, but love is the greatest of all. I know you have so much love in your heart and your family is full of love for each other. I hope you can feel the love here at HP for you and your family too. Hugs and plenty of angels heading your way,

Theresa


Rachel L Alba profile image

Rachel L Alba 9 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

Hi Pat, I would love to say, "nice to read your hub.." But, not if it means your family has to go through all of this. They say there is a reason for everything. Maybe because you have a great way of saying what's in your heart that it encourages others. We all need encouraging from time to time. God bless your hope in you and your daughter and grandson and probably your whole family. Thank you for your encouraging words.

Many blessings to you.


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 9 months ago from Nibiru

Touching and reflective pstraubie.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

What would we do without hope? Life can throw so many curves and if not for hope where would we be? This moved me. I know you've been through so much and yet you all continue on the path of healing and wishful hope. God bless your daughter, grandchild and the family. Peace my friend.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

My God what a message, PS. I don't know your daughter and grandson and yet I feel I do. What a remarkable family and what an important message. Soldier on....I'm with you, sending out hugs, blessings and words of encouragement....and the greatest gift I can give your family....love....thank you for sharing this with all of us.

hugs and blessings, wrapped up in a message of love


btrbell profile image

btrbell 9 months ago from Mesa, AZ

Patricia, I've said it before and I'll say it again. You and your family are an amazing inspiration. The epitome of hope! As Jackie said, you are all in our prayers and thoughts. I am also sending thoughts for even more strength as you face the next set of hurdles placed before you. Love to all of you. Randi


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton

I feel the hope in your words.. it's a difficult situation, but you're right Hope is a strong dose.. I love your hubs.. and the strength you display God Bless you


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Yes, Eric, we do. All of us do soldier on. Lifting our faces to the sun and giving thanks to our precious Lord for His love and mercy...it is indeed uplifting and a place of hope.

Blessings and many Angels on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Absolutely, Jackie.

Hope transcends my tiny brain's capacity to fully understand it but it is real and present and carries me and my loved ones along.

God is good!!!!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 9 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you, Jodah. And whether anyone understands or not, sharing our journey is empowering...perhaps someone else can find HOPE by just knowing that it can be life giving..

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


Jodah profile image

Jodah 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

An important and touching hub PS. Everyone needs to read this important message....live for today and don't put things off to tomorrow, always have hope and think positive. Your daughter and grandson's journey is a true and powerful testimony to always retain hope. Blessings to you all.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

And yet we do soldier on. As of current, though more tests will tell, survivor I can feel it down to my bones what you are going through. Life is a wild ride, every 8 seconds counts for something. Best of all to you.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 9 months ago from The Beautiful South

I would say dear PS that with that Hope is a whole lot of Faith! God bless you all and you must know the prayers going up from all of us here. You know He says where two or more are in His name He is there also. I know you are in the best hands you can be.

Love and prayers always and always remember our many hugs each time we think of you!

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