March 4, 2016

Corina Teresa Bustoz March 23, 1969 - February 12, 2016

Corina & her favorite dog, Chazz
I wrote this for the celebration of life dinner we had last week with some of my mom's closest friends - it was truly beautiful (thanks to some awesome friends & Jason's parents!) and I think it honored and celebrated her well. In honor of my beautiful mama's 3 week heaven anniversary, I thought I'd share it with you:

Corina was born on March 23, 1969 to Gerald and Betty Orsini in Arizona and was raised in the valley with her older sisters; Laura and half sister, Annie. She was a good student, a talented athlete, and loved by her friends.

In 1991, she gave birth to her only child, me, Samantha Rose Wood. She was a young woman when she became a mom (and a single parent just a couple years later) but her age didn’t stop her from parenting intentionally, being present, and sacrificing selflessly. I feel truly lucky to have had such a wonderful human as a mother. I know I’m biased, but I think she’s the best :)

Corina worked as an administrator for several years at my school, Khalsa Montessori and loved being a part of the community there. She was very active and regularly hiked with friends, went camping, and played in a co-ed softball league until just a few years ago. She cherished her friends and loved to laugh and be silly with them – something not everyone got to see. Her work ethic and drive were unmatched and in a few short years she went from receptionist at Triple R Behavioral Health to Director of Operations and was a highly valued part of their team. She spoke often and fondly of several of her coworkers and I know she enjoyed getting to work with them.

As they got older, she became the sole caregiver of both of her parents and we moved into their home in the early 2000s. She cared for her father until his passing in 2005 from prostate cancer and continued caring for her mother who had Alzheimer’s until she passed away a few years later. I’m continually amazed at her selflessness during those years and am forever thankful to have watched her dedication and love in action.

A few years later, my dad, David, became ill with heart disease and having no other family on this side of the country, my mom again gave selflessly for several years. With the help of home hospice, he passed away in her home in May of 2013, the weekend before I graduated from Texas Christian University. My mom proudly attended graduation and I moved home a few months later.

In October 2014, Corina remarried to Matthew Bustoz - their vows were beautiful. My mom talked often about how thankful she was to have Matt in her life. Most of all, she loved his faith in God and was grateful for the way he taught her to read and cherish the Bible. They could talk for hours on end with no distractions and she loved his desire to love her well.

Over the next couple months, my mom expressed some pain and discomfort in her lower abdomen and on Christmas Eve 2014, she was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer. Her medical treatment options were limited and Corina began the Gerson Diet, a regimented naturopathic juicing diet along with enemas and several supplements that aim at detoxifying the body, allowing the body to heal itself. She continued with juicing and several other natural treatments, eating a fully organic, vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free diet, and avoiding any type of pain medicine for about a year.

About seven weeks ago, her pain grew immensely and we took her to the hospital where we learned that her cancer had spread throughout her abdomen and liver. Hearing the news was heartbreaking and something none of us were truly prepared for but my mom was truly graceful. She reassured us she was confident in her decisions to that point and was unafraid of death because of her faith in God and heaven.

She received palliative radiation in the hospital and after a weeklong stay we prepared for her to come home with the help of Hospice of the Valley. For the first time she began taking low dose pain killers as well as high dosages of Rick Simpson Oil, “extremely potent decarboxylated extracts produced from strong sedative Indica strains, which have THC levels in the 90% range.” This Rick Simpson Oil allowed her to get pain relief without the excruciating side effects of narcotics and I cannot express how thankful we are for it. We watched her sleep through the night for the first time in months and she expressed that her nausea, pain, and anxiety were all significantly lower, if not gone completely.

Over the next couple weeks, her body began to show signs of slowing down. I stopped working and Matthew continued to care for her and sit by her side. On the afternoon of February 12, her breathing significantly slowed down and with both of us by her side, saying “I love you”, she took her last breath.

She had already arranged everything herself and didn’t want a service or a burial. She was cremated and her remains have been split between a couple small keepsakes and a birdbath that will sit in my garden for years to come.

To be honest, brokenhearted doesn’t quite cover it, but I have great joy in knowing my mom is dancing in a healthy new body in heaven with Jesus, and for that I am so grateful. We are saddened here on earth because we miss her and I’m not sure what life will look like without my beautiful mother in it but I will continue to trust God and do my best to honor my sweet mom.

Want to do the same? A few ideas… Live intentionally and care for those around you, take up meditation, yoga, or something else that feeds your soul and calms you, give up your microwave, eat organic, and lastly, something she expressed often – please go to the doctor. Get checked out and be proactive about your health because the people in your life care deeply for you.

Corina was generous, kind, gentle, and fun. Thank you for your continued words of support, thoughts, prayers, flowers, and love. Thank you for coming to celebrate a life well lived.

February 12, 2016

Tuesday's Update (2/9/16)

Hello friends. An update on my mama. She's been sleeping through most of her days but we're confident that her pain is managed and she is as comfortable as possible. She has had a few sleepless nights, but most of the time she seems to be resting well. Some days she's able to make it down our stairs and watch a couple episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond" on our couch or go outside and get some sun. She isn't eating much food but is still managing to swallow 10+ supplements at once (this amazes us!) and drink water throughout the day. We have no way of knowing exactly what the next days/weeks bring but there are signs that her body is slowing down. Yesterday was my last day with the twins and although it was a hard choice, I have confidence its the right one. There is nothing I'd rather do now than be by my sweet mom's side as much as I can and I intend to do that. Please continue to pray for us. We ask God for strength, faith, peace, and comfort. 


February 4, 2016

But It Wasn't Supposed to be Like This

 photo Samantha and Corina  Family-0033_zpsh1yp1ehc.jpg

Yesterday was a rough one.

When my mom finally agreed to move in, I was ecstatic for so many reasons. I knew my mom's days were getting harder and I was thankful to be able to be in a position to help and serve her. We had an extra room and the physical strength she was lacking to do some of the more mundane day-to-day tasks that tolled her. I was also so excited to spend sweet time with her again, since we've lived apart for the past several months. We talked excitedly about food of the day themes (think Taco Tuesday), nights feeling like a slumber party, and even dreamed up fun outings we could go on.

But the day before she was supposed to move in, she went to the hospital. We were thankful when they only gave her a transfusion and sent her home. But as soon as we got home, my mom's pain seemed worse than ever before and we decided to take her to a different hospital. That's when the news came and everything changed.

She was not getting better as we all hoped. She was not getting stronger and her body was not healing.

This isn't how it was supposed to be. 

This weekend was her first full weekend in our home and although none of us know what the future (even tomorrow) holds, the grief has already begun. I grieve the days we should have had. I grieve the nights of laughing and staying up watching scary movies (fast-forwarding the extra scary parts of course), and I mourn the loss of the woman who was once so full of life every day. My mom is not gone. She is still here but she is not the same woman I've known for the past 24 years. Sleep and pain consume her days. Confusion too.

It wasn't supposed to end up like this.

So yesterday I prayed. And I cried. And I prayed some more.

God knows my heart. He knows my deepest desires, yet I continue to come before Him and ask for miracles. I ask for time. I ask for strength. Helpers. Comfort. Peace.

And he answers. He clothes me with comfort, even momentarily, so that my heart may be at ease. He brings human helpers. He gives me patience in the most trying moments. And strengthens me enough to be able to share this journey with transparency and vulnerability.

And you know what else? He brings hope when I need it most.

After spending all day in bed yesterday, sleeping on and off, we assumed my mom was asleep for the night. We were winding down and getting ready to head to bed ourselves when Jason came downstairs and said "Your mom is putting her shoes on". I ran upstairs expecting to find her confused and thinking she had somewhere she needed to be, but that wasn't the case.

"I don't feel like being in my room right now. I want to come downstairs and hang out with you".

God is good. 

We sat downstairs together for about an hour until she was ready to rest again but oh my goodness, I've never been so thankful for a little clear-headed conversation. She ate some of the pizza we had made ourselves for dinner (and ate more than she has in days) and even asked for a glass of wine. And we talked. About her strength. About her care and meds. About TV. About the twins.

Oh, and we laughed.

I don't know what tomorrow holds. Sometimes I don't think I'll even make it through this. I wrestle with anger, regret, and frustration. But God knows that. He knows my heart. And He loves me still.

He also knows last night I went to sleep with a BIG smile on my face.

I share this all because what good would it do anyone to hide the bad days? What is the value in sharing, yet sugar-coating? Life isn't sugar coated. This life is hard sometimes a lot of the time. But then again we were never promised it would be easy.

A few things before I go...
  • Nothing can quite prepare you for grief or loss. But that doesn't mean you have to walk into it completely unprepared. When my dad passed away, I didn't handle it well. Or really, handle it at all. I didn't understand grief, I felt alone, and I chose simply to not process any of my emotions. Heads up - this is NOT the way to go. So read up. Because trust me, you'll want the knowledge before you need it and although there is no book that will tell you exactly what to do, how to feel, or lay out your exact circumstances, books are a wonderful resource. Currently reading "On Grief and Grieving" by Dr. Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross. I highly recommend it and even asked Jason to read it after me. I haven't highlighted while reading since college but this book makes me want to highlight every page because there is so much truth and it has already brought me great relief and comfort.
  • Yes, I'm struggling and my social life looks different these days, but I still very much need and want every one of you in my life. Sometimes I think about the year after my dad passed and remember the people that simply exited my life when I needed them most. I've never held a grudge because I understand, I really do. But for all the people grieving right now in your life (and in mine it seems like so many people around me have experienced loss lately) I will publicly tell you it is better to say something and have it be "wrong" (which it most likely won't be anyway) than to say nothing at all.
  • And for all you kind souls who continue to give freely of your time, energy, prayers, and kindness, THANK YOU. I cannot express enough how grateful I am for your love. I am encouraged by you. I remember your kindness and words in the moments I feel most alone. Thank you for being there. For bringing light into a dark time. And especially thank you to those of you with the strength and courage to mourn with me, share your own emotions, and cry tears with me. You are the best of all. 

PS. Thank you to each and every one of you who have offered to bring us food. We are so incredibly grateful for your generosity and during a season when time is just so precious to us, it really can be a blessing not to have to worry about our next meal. Jason's mom, Linda, has been taking care of us and making sure we're fed but since so many of you have offered, I've handed the baton off to her and we've set up an online "Take Them A Meal" schedule. Because the link to sign up includes our personal info, we're not sharing it publicly so if you'd like to sign up, either email Linda at ldonofrio7@gmail.com and she can send it your way or message/text Jason or I and we can send it to you as well. Linda will be the coordinator but please feel free to reach out to either of us if you have any questions. Thank you again for all your kindness. We love you all.


February 1, 2016

Remember to Breathe

 photo Samantha and Corina  Family-0006_zpsqcarudbh.jpg
 
A lot of you have asked how I'm doing. To be honest, that's a hard question to answer. I guess all things considered, I'm doing as well as can be expected.

I'm still working a few days a week and for most of the day I'm genuinely at peace, able to concentrate on what I'm doing, and manage to take care of myself and the little munchkins. When I'm at home with my mom, my focus is on taking care of what she needs and keeping her company so usually I can handle that pretty well too. But driving? Ha! That gets to me. I'm able to sit alone with my thoughts, perpetuate negativity because who's there to stop me & to be honest probably look like a crazy person because at some point in the drive I'm having a meltdown. I'm working on keeping my thoughts in check because getting worked up doesn't benefit anyone and I'm doing my best to rely on my trust and faith in the Lord but I'm human and the worries of this world get to me sometimes. 

So anyway, the other day I'm driving and in the middle of one of these episodes where I'm part hyperventilating, part ugly crying, wondering if I should pull over and get it together when I look to my right and see a sign. Literally a sign. "REMEMBER TO BREATHE. GOD IS OUR HELPER". Well I don't know who chose to put these words on that church sign, but I can't help but believe God had a little hand in it. Not only did I actually need to breathe at that moment, but the reminder that God is our helper couldn't have come at a better time. For the past week and a half, I have prayed fervently that God send me "helpers". In my prayers, I've even admitted that I don't know what that looks like but He does. While we've "figured out" a lot of this journey on our own, there is so much that we don't know and unfortunately because we're not the first family to go through this, there are people out there who have knowledge and wisdom that only comes through experience. Already, in the past week God has blessed us with people I know are an answer to that prayer, and for that I am so thankful. But the reminder was welcomed - that no matter how many humans we're blessed with, God is our ultimate Provider, Helper, and Father. I even drove back and took a picture when I was done with my errands.

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We continue ahead, one day at a time. Our focus is of course on my mom, but J continues to remind me that to take care of my mom well, I also need to take care of myself. On Saturday night, he convinced me to leave the house and I was able to hang out with a lot of my friends who I haven't seen in a few weeks. It was good for my soul and I was thankful to get my mind off things, laugh, and catch up with friends. I have to keep reminding myself that being kind to myself and taking care of my body & soul honors my mom but I'm thankful J reminds me too. Sidenote: for those of you who know Jason, you know he has an incredible outlook on life, can brighten anyone's day, and has more patience than anyone I've ever met (he's dating me, so that's testament enough to the man's patience). By example, he encourages me to be better every day and I just can't thank him enough for the way he continually supports and loves me. Ladies, don't settle for a man who doesn't love you well, because they're out there!!

Now for an update:
Last week, we started learning more about Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). If you're not familiar with it, there is more info at this link but RSO refers to "extremely potent decarboxylated extracts produced from strong sedative Indica strains, which have THC levels in the 90% range. This harmless non-addictive natural medication can be used with great success, to cure or control many medical issues". Over the past 6 days, we've been implementing RSO into her med schedule. Her body took a few days to adjust to it, but over the past couple days we've found it extremely helpful. Because of it, she is getting pain relief that the narcotics weren't able to give her, she's been able to rest through the night multiple times (we praise God for these nights because they don't come often), and we've reduced her pain meds by more than half. It has helped with anxiety, restlessness, and confusion and has given us great relief and hope. It's even increased her food intake which we couldn't be more happy about and seeing her be able to rest peacefully and with minimal pain has been truly wonderful. 

 On Friday, we got the go ahead to bring my sweet mama home from Friendship Village and we spent the weekend doing our best to get her settled and comfortable. She spent Friday and Sunday night awake, restless, and a bit confused until she finally fell asleep in the early mornings. But for the rest of the weekend, she rested well and slept a lot. She was able to get outside in the afternoons and was even up for visiting with Jason's parents for a few minutes last night when they stopped by with food.

It's a new week, which of course bring new challenges, but we are thankful for it. We will continue to do our best and adapt to what comes next. Until next time, thank you to everyone who continues to love, pray, support, and reach out to us. We are so grateful for each of you and your generosity. 

To our prayer warriors, please continue to pray. We continue asking God for wisdom and guidance, for restful and pain-free days and nights, for lucid moments when my mom's one-of-a-kind personality comes out and we're able to connect with her, and for joy and peace that only comes from Him.

January 25, 2016

Overwhelmed by God's love

 photo Samantha and Corina  Family-0014_zpsvscwebgw.jpg

For most if my life, I've been overwhelmed. I'm prone to stress and anxiety and always manage to put too much on my own plate, not to mention life and it's obstacles... and so the result is an underlying (and sometimes not so underlying) feeling of being overwhelmed. But in the midst of this craziness, most of the time, I'm simply overwhelmed with God's grace and love. Don't get me wrong, and more about this at another time, I still have moments where I'm a puddle on the floor. But even then, its short-lasting and God reigns me back to Himself and His mercies. 

Just this morning, I had to stop and text J because I just can't believe how WONDERFUL you people are. I honestly didn't know I was surrounded by such kind and generous souls and I'm just so grateful. Quick story: I decided to head downstairs when visiting my mom yesterday to grab a quick sandwich. I decided to order the same sandwich I had on Saturday and when my food was ready, the woman brought me my bag and I thanked her. I was on my way out the door and she said "I put a little extra pesto on it, just like you like it." She stopped me in my tracks. Here is a woman that prepares food ALL day for who knows how many people. I'd only ordered from her once before and hadn't even remembered to order extra sauce this time but she remembered me and my order and took the time to comfort me in the way she could. Maybe its all the emotions, but I never knew a little pesto sauce could make me so thankful. I could list 15 more examples like this, but I wont (for now). 

I will however publicly thank J's parents who had us over last night. They fed us, were great company, and managed to get my mind off things for a few hours. When we were heading out, his mom gave me a box of essential oils and a diffuser (which happened to be the perfect gift & something we had been talking about getting even this past week) as well as a giant batch of healthy soup so that we can take a few days off cooking & prepping food for ourselves. That means more time with my sweet mama. Thank God for moms, right? There's really nothing like a mom's ability to love, comfort, and give of herself freely. Anyway... all of that to say that God continues to comfort me and has blessed us abundantly with caring people who really amaze me. 

NOW... about my Mama:
For those of you who read the last update I shared, my mom has been struggling with the medications hospice has prescribed. Honestly, they're too strong. Probably not something most people in pain would complain about, but my mom has spent the past year or so detoxing her body, eating an organic, vegan, gluten-free & sugar-free diet, and has avoided even Tylenol. Her body is what was explained to us as being "opiate niave" and so although she hasn't been in a lot of pain over the past few days, she's been disoriented and has had a hard time moving around on her own to say the least. So last night when the nurse came to switch out her pain patch, I asked them to hold off until we were able to talk to the doctor because I thought it was too strong. Since she went inpatient on Saturday morning and the doctor only comes by a few times a week, she hadn't seen a doctor yet. They were hesitant, but my mom's pain was managed and they agreed. 

In hopes that she would be able to get some sleep (she didn't get any on Saturday night), we gave her a medical marijuana edible (had to fight hospice a little on this but they've been accommodating and eventually approved as long as they're not responsible for dispensing to her) and I am overjoyed to report THAT SHE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! I can't tell you the last time she's been able to get more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep at a time, so the fact that she was able to sleep almost all night is GREAT NEWS!!! And the fact that it wasn't totally narcotic induced is a BIG win for us. I know feelings about mmj are all over the board but I have never been more sure that this is the BEST thing we can do. Now, we're in no way thinking her pain can be relieved solely by cannabis, but we have hopes that it will really reduce the amount of narcotics taking a hard toll on her body. 

But wait! There's more! (I feel like a commercial ;) haha!) We were able to see the doctor this morning. Unfortunately the pain patch still affects the body for up to 24 hours after being taken off, so mixed with the cannabis my mom wasn't able to really speak with the doctor for herself but I made sure to take the morning off work so that I could be there to advocate for her. I prayed hard over my mom and even for the doctor before he came in to see her and maybe hes just genuinely open minded, patient and kind on a regular basis (he works in hospice after all) but WOW. During this journey, we have not encountered a more patient, open-minded, and kind doctor and to be honest, I'm blown away. He took the time to listen to my concerns and address each one. He knelt by the bed and looked me in the eye and didn't show the least bit of irritation when I asked what must have been my 14th question. 

So here's the low-down:
  • They're completely switching up her pain meds. Over the next couple days they'll figure out her pain level and adjust her pain patch accordingly. We think this will help A LOT with mental clarity and independence. 
  • He supports our use of cannabis and wants us to work it into the schedule so that we can get a true picture of what her med schedule will look like when we take her home. 
  • When she left Honor, she had severe swelling throughout her lower body. This is basically gone!! 
  • The nurses expressed some worry about fluid in the lungs or upper body overnight but the doctor assessed and said her lungs sounded GREAT! This is wonderful news.
  • Parasites. My mom has them but because of testing, prescription issues, and 23794 other obstacles, we haven't been able to get her the medication she needs to get rid of them. He listened well, wasn't condescending and assured us that one way or another, she'll get the medication she needs and they'll monitor her while on them if needed. This is one of the biggest blessings so far! Not only have we not even been able to get our hands on this med, but the 3 day dosage can be pretty rough on the body so having medical supervision will give us relief, if nothing else. 
  • My mom has barely been getting enough nutrients and this is something I've been pretty concerned about. We have yet to talk it through with my mom, because its her decision ultimately, but the doctor suggested a 3-5 day dose of a steroid (one thats naturally occuring in our bodies) that would allow her to have a bit more energy, give her the desire to eat, and most likely fight nausea. Win all around, if you ask me. 
Ok, sorry for the long post. Just wanted to share with you all where we're at. All things considered, things are going well and today's visit with the Doctor has left me with more hope and assurance than I've felt in a while. Thank you for your continued prayers and kindness. Feeling truly blessed by each of you.


Friendship Village

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Unfortunately the transition home didn't go as smoothly as we'd hoped. The pain meds that the hospital was administering & doing their best to regulate weren't the meds we got sent home with. Somewhere between the hospice admittance & the hospital discharge there was a breakdown in communication. We went home with new meds, different doses & no idea how or when to give them to my mom. She's either been in a lot of pain or extremely confused and disoriented and we were honestly worried about leaving her alone for any amount of time. So we made the hard call late last night to hospice & arranged for her to go inpatient for what will hopefully only be a few days. The goal here is to get her pain managed and find a good balance that lets her be as pain free as possible while still lucid and maintaining some quality of life while under medical supervision. We had some trouble finding a bed available but we were finally able to & brought her to Friendship Village in Tempe this morning. Everyone here is so kind and gentle and I really can't say enough good things about these lovely nurses (shoutout to all you nurses - you've got the toughest job & I admire you) who even in the past two hours that we've been here have taken the time to comfort, listen, and help us in any way they can. She's resting and seems peaceful now but has been battling nausea, discomfort and anxiety over the past couple days. We are truly hopeful that transitioning here in hospice will allow us to learn and be better caregivers as well as give her body time to adjust to these heavy meds. Thank you all for your continued prayers, grateful doesn't quite cover it but there aren't adequate words so "thank you" will have to do for now. 

January 22, 2016

God is still good

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Hi friends. I'll cut to the chase... It might seem weird that I'm choosing to write and share this personal journey, perhaps with people I don't even know, at such a difficult time - and to be honest, I've been going back and forth in my head about it but I finally decided to do it. Why? I have a million reasons not to but a few good reasons that "pushed me over the edge".
  1. Well to be honest, I need an outlet. I'm riding an emotional roller coaster and there's only so many hours in a day that I can let my mind wander to "what-ifs" and worries about the future or regrets from the past. For some reason, I think putting pen to paper fingers to keyboard will bring some relief. Not to mention, give me something to put my nervous energy into.
  2. Secondly, as much as I love talking to each of you and hearing from you, I can't give the same update over and over again... honestly its just hard. I love when you reach out, so keep it comin' but when there's no good news, sharing it even more than once can bring me down, and I'm really focusing on keeping a positive mindset and choosing happiness as often as I can. 
  3. And the most important reason of all of them is JESUS. This life on earth is temporary. Our bodies are temporary. Our things are temporary, and even our worldly relationships with other humans are not guaranteed to be eternal. The past year has been hard. And I mean HARD. And to this point, the only gain has been our own personal and spiritual growth, but that's not God's only desire. He desires to be glorified and worshiped and shared boldly. And so that's what I hope to do. In the midst of a heartbreaking situation, God is still good. He has shown His presence in our lives and even during this season of pain and confusion. And if just one person comes to know God's love and comfort just a little bit better, this journey has not been in vain. 
Even the name of my blog 'fits'. If you were to google "anchors aweigh", you would find out that it is not only the fight song of the US Navy but is also the name of a movie from the 40s. If you were to read a little bit more, you would find the term to "weigh anchor" is to bring the anchor aboard a ship in preparation for departure, and the phrase "anchor's aweigh" is a report that the anchor is clear of the sea bottom & that the ship is officially underway.
Wow. I created this blog and its title over two years ago, but for some reason I can't help but think that God was providing a platform to be shared and glorified.


Anyway, now a quick update on mom: 
  • She is home from the hospital! Praise Jesus. Previously she was living with her sister and brother-in-law but the environment was not nurturing or comforting (to say the least) and because she was living so far away from us, providing help and even company was difficult. So over the past few weeks, we've made arrangements and during my mom's hospital stay we got all of her stuff moved into our place. We aren't naive enough to think that a major adjustment won't be taking place, but we're nonetheless happy and comforted to have her in our home and under our "supervision". 
  • Her meds were delivered late last night after she got home and we're working on getting her to a good balance of pain relief and a clear mind... which isn't easy when narcotics are involved but our priority is pain management. She already has a medical marijuana card and has used it a little up until this point, but we'd like to make it more of a regular and scheduled form of pain relief. Any and all expertise in this area would truly be appreciated. 
  • She has two more scheduled rounds of palliative radiation in order to stop her bleeding, and we've made sure to keep the rounds to a small amount in case she has a need for more in the future. (If we chose to do a larger amount now, she would be limited if she needed more later because her body can only handle so much radiation). 
  • As for hospice, both my dad and grandparents passed gracefully with the help Hospice of the Valley and so my mom was very adamant that we use them over any other hospice. We're still getting adjusted but we're welcoming their help, knowledge, and resources. 
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And lastly for now, SO MANY of you have offered up help in different ways. We are SO grateful for each and every one of you and your offers. Right now, we are adjusting and settling in and that's where are heads are at but we DO have needs and I believe that soon, we will be more prepared to let you all know how you can help. Although we will pray expectantly for God's grace and miracles, we will also prepare for my mom to join the Lord. Personally, that means granting her wishes as well as providing love, company, and comfort as much as possible. So far, she has only vocalized going to a farm... away from the city and with animals. So if you have any connections or know of one in our area, please let me know. Other than that, for now we can only ask you to continue praying. We are grateful for EACH AND EVERY one of you. Thank you.