How One Family Lives With a Terminal Diagnosis

My Sweet Girl (October 2015)...Readying for a Steampunk Event

used with permission
used with permission | Source

Stephanie and Her Hunnie Bunnie

Source

Stephanie with Little Heston

used with permission
used with permission | Source

Asking for Positive Energy and Good Thoughts

For those of you who have followed the journey my daughter and grandson have taken over the years, I am first of all, thankful, because you have helped to lift them up.

And for those of you who have cancer or other catastrophic illness in your family, you know, all too well, the roller coaster ride it can be.

For most of my grandson's 20 years he has fought to stay on the planet and continues to today. He is presently awaiting new rounds of chemo.

My daughter has fought multiple cancers for 14 years. For many of those years she has been told that she really 'shouldn't be here', that she has defied the odds ...for the cancer has metastasized numerous times and she has rallied each time. This scourge has taken a heavy toll on her body. She is in a great deal of pain almost daily, her heart works furiously to try to provide the needs for her body, and her little body is ravaged with MS (she is told a side effect, if you will, of the chemo she has had so many times).

She has had surgeries, chemo after chemo, radiation, you name it. The last rounds of chemo almost killed her so she vowed never to take it again...but of course, you (almost) really never say never when it comes to a possible HOPE for ending the scourge.).

Now the cancer which has been brewing all of these years has awakened again like the sleeping beast that lurks under the mountain. It has just been waiting to rear its ugly head and claim victory.

Those of you have read our journey know that one reason my girl is on the planet is that she has kept positive thoughts every single day; she has refused to give up and give in.

She gets up every single day and faces the day, walking through the pain, because that is what we do in our family. She has her own precious boys, Heston Wayne, 5, and Jay, who will be 21 very soon, and she has a husband who brings her joy as she brings it to him, each day.

So getting up and LIVING each day is a no-brainer...she does it because she has a hunger for life and sharing her moments with all who come her way.

We are facing new and grave concerns at this time. So I am asking each of you who come to read to please send positive energy and prayers her way. But I also ask that when you do if you will please send the same to any family, anywhere on this planet, who needs to be uplifted. We are, after all, family...No man is an island, as John Donne said.

Thanking you kindly for sharing this new challenge with us.

I can count on one hand how many of my hubs I have shared but I am sharing this one hoping it will reach many.

One thing I do know is that the prayers and positive energy coupled with my Stephanie's resolve have helped her to rally each time.

"Someone should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.

— Pope Paul VI

Five Years Ago

My girl (left) and her best freind
My girl (left) and her best freind | Source

Learning to live with illness as part of our daily lives was a bit of a learning curve but it is the path we have taken.

If you have family members who are ill and have been ill for many years, you can relate to this. If you do not, you empathize and that empathy is welcome for sure. But it is difficult to wrap your mind around what it feels like.

In my immediate family there are two such family members, my eldest grandson and my daughter. At present my grandson is doing reasonably well and for that we are thankful.

Currently, my daughter who has spent the last ten years trying to stay on the planet is facing new and more invasive cancer. She has just been told it has spread once again. This weekend is her birthday and her doctors told her to enjoy it. Next week the plan as to how to proceed will be formulated.

Our mantra became and remains~~

Do not miss one minute of today. This day is what you have been given ....embrace every minute of it.

Say what is in your heart...never let the sun set on your anger.

Sometimes you do not get the chance to 'make things right.'

Two miracles---Momma and Baby....

So often we hear...."She looks so healthy....He looks so healthy..."

Please remember as you observe folks throughout the day...Cancer and many other catastrophic diseases does not have a certain LOOK.

Christmas Time 2013

My eldest sister and my girl
My eldest sister and my girl | Source

Trying to control the tumors


Our mantra became and remains “Every single minute of every day is a gift. Do not miss one minute of today.”

Treatment after treatment, clinical trial after clinical trial has been used in an effort to stem the tide of this insidious cancer that seems to crave mastery of more areas of her body. Perhaps some of the treatments did some good but we believe that the legalized poison (chemo) that she has been subjected to has done perhaps more damage than good.

One doctor said to her initially, ten years ago, “You got this. You will beat this. You do not need to worry till it comes full circle…if it does.”

Well it did (come full circle). It would actually be easier to say where she does not have tumors than it would be say where she does not. And the reason this happened to her says something about the health care in our nation but that is another story for another time.

LIVING~~~Despite Frightening Prognosis

At this point she has not decided what course of treatment she will seek. And whatever she decides will be respected by each of us. She stopped treatment several times throughout this battle when she was so weak and unable to function that she was near death’s door.

Whatever decision she makes will be one that she chooses . She has tumors in other areas of her body that cannot be treated due to their location.

Her forty second birthday this weekend is a huge reason to celebrate.

. She was told seven years ago to get her affairs in order….and to party like a rock star. The doctors did not believe she would live but a few months at that time.

When she went in for blood work or a check up, the doctor would look at her and shake his head and say:
"You are not supposed to be here you know. “

She would just smile and say, “But I am.”

Februrary 2015...Reunited with a Special Cousin

Source

Another New Day

Not for one moment does she take for granted the years on the planet she has been given.She has been an inspiration to so many of us.

She has gotten up each day with new resolve. Having one more new day to embrace and share her love and smiles and kindness with each of us who come in contact with her is what helps her overcome the pain and begin a new day.

She does have days when the pain tests her to the limits of her endurance. The pain is located in areas where no pain medications can reach. So she has learned to focus her thinking in other areas---sharing moments with both of her sons, taking care of her home and preparing meals for the family, doting on her Man, texting her friends and her Momma, or talking to her Momma over the fence.

One More Miracle

Pain Tries to Steal Her Days At Times


She has had some days when the pain won. She was so crippled by the pain, she would take some medication that would allow her to escape through sleep for a bit. On those days, her big son watches the little son or Nini (me) will take him to her house for a few hours. These times over the years have been very few and far between.


Why? The reason is simple. It is as simple as the reason she stopped chemo. She wants to enjoy the time with her family…she like the rest of us does not know how many moments have been assigned to her life. And she wants to be conscious and aware even if it means she is in pain.


For those of us who watch our loved ones in pain and facing one onslaught after another of new assaults on their bodies, it is a heart wrenching journey. Yes, it is. It is one that no one would ever take by choice.


Yesterday I said these words to my Stephanie....she has to walk this walk as she feels she must....

Asking for Another Miracle

Source

What Can I Do?


There are times when I feel so powerless. I want to fix her. I want to make her pain leave her body. I want the cancer to miraculously be cured.

And yes, I do pray. And I have asked several times…Lord, I am asking for a miracle this time. And I do think along the way He has given us some of them too.

I pray daily for her pain to subside and I ask for her to be held tightly in His arms and protected.

And as her Momma my greatest wish is that she is no longer in pain--that some way to break the pain cycle be found.


She is on the planet. She has a baby son who will be four a few days after her birthday. She was told neither he nor she would survive his birth. And he did and she did. That seems like miracle enough to me.

Jay....

Everyone says...he looks so healthy....cancer does not have a LOOK
Everyone says...he looks so healthy....cancer does not have a LOOK | Source

Another gift we are so thankful for is that my eldest grandson who turned 19 a few months ago is ON THE PLANET. He has a terminal diagnosis as well and we were told he would not live past the age of six…and look at him now.

He is still sick and still has treatment intermittently but he is here and we are so blessed.


We Have Difficult Times Too...

A gift we received through this nightmare has been that we learned to live the way we should have lived all along----treasuring every moment of every day.

We have had some moments when things were not all peaches and cream. We have had times when we were extremely frustrated and angry and we yelled at each other and at the cancer…Really I think that needs to happen at times…you crash and burn and then you pick up the pieces and move forth.

Pretending it is not scary and frustrating and that it can make you angry solves nothing. However being stuck in the dark and scary place solves nothing either. Learning to address the feelings and recognizing that they exist has helped us to remain a bit sane through all of this.

Live with No Regrets

You may be surprised to know that we have never done is to question why this happened to our family.

There is no reason. Stuff happens. It is how you live (not exist) with this albatross around your neck that determines your life’s course.

Give up and give in or L I V E fully wholly and to the fullest extent possible.


I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist but I know some things.


And I know that missing today trying to second guess tomorrow will leave you trapped in the ‘shoulda’, woulda’, coulda’ trap….with regret being your constant companion.

Angels are on the Way

Your loved ones will not tire of hearing how loved they are by you.

Be sure to say what is in your heart to them.

For those of you that are walking a similar path to this one, my thoughts and prayers and many many many Angels are finding their way to you.

Precious Time with Your Loved Ones


Denying your emotional pain is a one way street as well.

Feel what you feel, address it, and move on.

How many times have you heard that life is too short….?? It is and it is so fragile and tomorrow is not promised.


Wrap yourself and your loved ones in today.

Treasure your loved ones and find the real meaning of life is not in things at all but in the precious moments you share with those you love.


Happy time with her love

Source

What Choice Will You Make?


We get up each day and live our lives engaged in the seeming normalcy of most lives. We do the mundane things that are a part of living.

My girl will go to have a pedicure on Friday as one of her birthday presents…another ‘normal’ part of life.


These obstacles that have come our way have tried to rip the life out of us but we refused to let it ‘get us.’ Easy, no? Not ever.

But it is, after all, a life choice.

Find your peace in the face of adversity. Know that you will not be sorry that you faced demons that came into your life and would have stolen the precious minutes you are given.Otherwise you will miss so many moments you can never get back.


And then very simply LIVE.


We are not Alone


For us prayers and Angels still surround us. God is in the house. He is our strength. As I have said many times before---He carries us up over the most difficult times. We are not alone.

Other articles about my grandson and daughter and their journey are here on Hubpages: Look for them ….When Catastrophic Illness Comes Knocking part 1 When Cancer Comes Knocking part 2 When Cancer Comes Knocking part 3

More by this Author


Comments 33 comments

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 12 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you, Mary...just one more part of our journey.. God never said it would be easy...He just promised to be here for us and how blessed we are.

I so appreciate your thoughts and kind words. Angels are once again on the way to you ps


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 12 months ago from New York

The faith of you and your family have given your daughter and grandson outstanding courage. They are both amazing and certainly we pray God envelopes them in His love.

I'm sure this hub has touched many hearts and we will all keep them in our hearts and prayers. You too, dear PS, as I know how much this affects you as well.

God bless.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 12 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks, Paula, for stopping to read. Our journey continues. We are so lifted up by each one of you who stop to share our journey with us. After all, we really are on the planet to help make the way lighter for others, aren't we?

Sending you blessings and Angels this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 12 months ago from sunny Florida Author

And that positive energy is received and so much appreciated. We are so blessed in so many ways, Sunshine. We just keep LIVING each day and reveling in the joy the new day brings.

Angels are on the way to you this morning and wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving ps


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 12 months ago from Orlando, FL

I continue to send positive thoughts to your daughter, grandson and to you! Xo


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 12 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

ps......My heart reaches out to you, your daughter & grandson and your entire beautiful family. Such strength and positive living is an amazing gift. Thank you for sharing all the profound lessons you have learned. What a perfect way to spread love and understanding!

We have all been touched in some way. We can truly feel for one another. As you say, we are never alone in this battle.

This hub is pure inspiration. Hugs to all of you. Peace, Paula


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 21 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Yes it is quite a journey. but so much good, so many miracles, so much love have come of it.

We are so very blessed, I cannot emphasize that enough. We are lifted up each day by so many we know in real time and so many who will will never meet. Thank you again, Sunshine for stopping and commenting and showing you care. Angels are on the way to you


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 21 months ago from Orlando, FL

Sunshine is speechless. This seldom, if ever happens. I didn't realize that both your daughter and grandson are battling the beast. Those in the cancer battle relate to it in a way that brings them comfort. My way is to attack it, but I remain positive, realistic and optimistic. Hugs to you and your precious family.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks Old abion I think that we have really learned to live our lives as we should have been doing all along...embracing each day....one day at a time :D We have moments when we crash and burn but we dust ourselves off and go forth.

Thanks for visiting and I hope all goes well for you.

Angels are on the way to you and your loved ones. ps


old albion profile image

old albion 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

My sister and I are in a similar position as your family, though with different conditions. I understand your pain and worries. We have to be strong, so easily said I know it has been said so many times. My thoughts are with you.

Graham.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you Grand Old Lady It is a difficult walk, I will not pretend otherwise. But having them on the planet is such a gift we make every day count.

Angels are on the way to you today ps


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

I'm keeping your daughter and grandson in prayer. This is a very helpful and inspiring hub. I hope that you are holding up well. God bless all of you and may he keep you in the palm of his hand.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Glimmer Twin Fan

I do understand. I am writing on another site primarily so often do not get to HubPages and I feel horrible about it.

Every single second of every day is a time for us to rejoice. This abominable dastardardly disease has brought us to the true realization of the truly fragile lives we lead. We are so blessed to know to treasure each other so much. sometimes we become complacent and do not really treasure our loved ones as we should.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

I have been quite remiss in not reading my hubpages alerts so I am quite behind. I wish you and your family much peace through this process. I always love getting your angels and now I am sending angels your way.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you so much for your kind words, truthfellow

We are so blessed to have so much support from so many. It really does mean so much to us.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Dear Sweet Faith

Since I have been away from HubPages more than I have been here I feel I have not been as faithful about reading my dear friends' posts as I would like to be.

These months I have been gone so much as happened...it indeed has been a roller coaster...but we have received such an outpouring of love and caring that with God's help, sustains us.

I hope all is well with you and your family especially your sister...

Take care of you dear friend. and know you are in my prayers daily and that many Angels are on the way to you today

ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Dear Sweet Faith

Since I have been away from HubPages more than I have been here I feel I have not been as faithful about reading my dear friends' posts as I would like to be.

These months I have been gone so much as happened...it indeed has been a roller coaster...but we have received such an outpouring of love and caring that with God's help, sustains us.

I hope all is well with you and your family especially your sister...

Take care of you dear friend. and know you are in my prayers daily and that many Angels are on the way to you today

ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

You are so kind, Randi. We are so blessed to have so many like you to share our journey. I can say unequivocally that if we were not lifted up by so many and God's love we would have found this journey to much more heartwrenching that it already is

Angels are on the way to you and yours ps


truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 2 years ago from New Orleans, LA

Very inspiring words about how not to take each day for granted and live each day to the fullest. There is much love in your family. Prayers to you all.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Oh, dear precious friend,

I truly am so sorry for missing this beautiful testimony of love and life. You are always such an inspiration more than you will ever know. I believe you have experienced miracles, being your beautiful daughter and grandson are still here.

We should all live as if this day is our last, as it could very well be and take not one precious moment of this beautiful gift of life for granted.

I know your daughter and grandson are so very strong and I believe they have received that gift from you and your wisdom in this life. So, true, it is not good to keep our true feelings inside, but to get them out and then begin anew each day.

I do think of you and your precious family often and keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing this powerful article here, which will indeed help many. I am sharing everywhere and voted up ++++

Many hugs and angels are on their way to you and your precious family.

God bless.

Faith Reaper


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Patricia, you are and will always be an inspiration to me. Your spirit, strength and love are amazing! I always think if you and your family and keep you in our prayers.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you DDE We are so appreciative and thankful for all of the kind thoughts and words that come our way.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

How touched I am by your sweet words. This has been a difficult last ten days. Two surgeries for her ....she is come now recovering from the second of these.

Life is good though. We are so blessed in so many ways.

Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts with me. We are uplifted by all of you who care ps


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A very important hub and love and support does have a greater effect. Prayers are even greater.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you Tirelesstraveler....Today she had part one of two surgeries. We continue to believe that if we try to live one day at a time we are doing the right thing.

Angels are on the way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

So nice of you to share your kind words, Manatita 44. It is a journeya and truly each moment is a gift.

Angels are on the way to you ps


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

pstraubie48, you may never know it but you are an inspiration to me. There is no way to explain what I mean. Just know that special prayers are sent your way.

Blessings and Hugs

Shyron


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

That would probably be a good idea. It may open up some very important dialogue, Eric.

thank you for stopping by....

Angels are on the way to you p


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California

Bravo to your brave beautiful daughter and her mother who loves and supports her with all her heart. Love and Prayers - Judy


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you Bill

So much is going on in the next few weeks.We are thankful for each day...and we are so thankful for sweet peas like you who send us good wishes.

Angels are on the way at this moment to you and yours....ps


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

What can I say? I like your Spirit! You seem to know that this is the Essence.

'And I know that missing today trying to second guess tomorrow will leave you trapped in the ‘shoulda’, woulda’, coulda’ trap….with regret being your constant companion.'

Keep this up! God speed and blessings! Peace.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

There is very little I can say to this. A big hug coming your way, and prayers for those two angels in your life. This article is so important. If it helps one other person then you will have done a great service.

blessings always

bill


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

The more light there is shining, the less darkness there is. Sometimes I wonder how my children coped with my "terminal cancer" I think I will ask them today.

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