Praying for Aida

A daughter's perspective on her mom's battle with stomach cancer

Redirected blog November 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina @ 10:46 am

Hi everyone,

I’ve decided to keep this blog as a “therapy tool” for lack of better words.  It will be a place for me to vent and share my memories of my mom, but I’ve changed the web address.  You can continue to read on http://rememberingaida.wordpress.com.

-Christina

 

New beginnings… November 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina @ 10:46 am

My first thought when I woke up was “Wow…so this is it.  The beginning of my life without my mom.”  I felt kind of bad thinking that because it’s not true.  She will always be with me in my heart, but this is the first full day without my mom physically here to hug.  It really is surreal.  I really don’t have any other words than, it’s surreal.

Last night, I packed up her dress, makeup and jewelry that she will be buried in.  I went into her closet and saw all her scrubs that she wore to work..all the bright colors that she looked so beautiful in.  The scrubs she wore as she guided new  nurses in their first days on the job.  The scrubs she wore as she cared for patients after surgery.  The scrubs she wore as she comforted families during their most difficult times.  At the end of those long days, after losing a patient, she would come home tell my dad (and me sometimes) about her day and you know that her heart ached for that family.  Yesterday, so many of her co-workers came to say goodbye.  They all had such kind things to say about Mom.  It breaks my heart to know that they have lost such an amazing co-worker, mentor and friend…and after saying goodbye, they still have to go back to work and take care of their own patients.  I don’t know how nurses do what they do, but it definitely takes a special heart and I pray that God gives them strength everyday.

Last night I also had a strange thought…it’s so trivial, but I can’t get it out of my head.  “I don’t know any of Mom’s recipes.”  I love to cook and so did my mom.  Unfortunately, she didn’t cook from a cookbook or recipe card; it was all in her head.  She would make several dinners on her days off and pack them up for us to eat later in the week when she would be working.  She took such good care of my dad and me.  I’m really going to miss her cooking…lasagna, wonton soup, kung pao chicken, fried rice, egg rolls, pancit, curry chicken…it was all so yummy.  I loved sitting in the kitchen and watching her cook.  It was always a good time to talk and catch up on each other’s lives.  I’m really going to miss that too.

Today is a new day.  Psalm 118:24

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

As hard as it is to rejoice when you’ve lost your mother, I can still be thankful that He has blessed me with another day.  I will rejoice and be glad.

 

One more angel in Heaven November 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina @ 8:53 pm

Early this morning my mom, Aida Frial Beardsley, went to heaven to be with Jesus.  What an amazing place to be!  As quick and unexpected as her passing was we find peace in knowing that she’s not longer suffering.  She is now pain free, cancer free and completely healed.  She’s reunited with her parents and other family that have gone on and I’m sure they’re happy to see each other.

In 2 Timothy 4, the apostle Paul writes:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day…

My mom had such a great sense of peace about her situation.  She faced it with courage and never doubted that it was all part of God’s great plan.  She remained always faithful and now she will be greatly rewarded.

My mom was an incredible wife, mother and Lola (grandmother.)  My parents had a very happy twenty-five years of marriage.  I always knew that when I got married I wanted to have what they had because what they had was something truly special.  I’m thankful for their example of what a loving marriage should be and I know she’s thankful for the wonderful husband God provided for me.  When I became a mother, I knew I wanted to be as loving and caring as she was with me.  I’m so thankful for her guidance with Leila Kate the last two years and that they were able to have that time together.  Yes, it makes me sad that she won’t be here to hold Sadie Joy when she’s born in January, but I know she will be looking down and rejoicing with us on that day.

I have found great comfort in Psalm 23…it says:

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

God is with us and we have felt His great love through all of this.  I thank you all so much for the encouraging words and prayers and  I pray that God will bless you all the way He has blessed me.

 

Update #2: Pain meds and Yahtzee

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina @ 5:10 am

Very little has changed since yesterday.  Mom slept a lot (5 hours straight) yesterday when she got out of surgery.  I think the sleep can be attributed to a combination of the anesthesia and the pain medications.

She was started on a Fentanyl patch on Saturday.  This is what will be used for pain management when she comes home from the hospital.  She is also receiving an small amount of Dilaudid (a derivative of morphine) through her IV every hour.  The pain meds make her drowsy and a little disoriented.

We are still waiting to hear from the oncologist about the plans for her chemotherapy.  I hope to know more tomorrow.

Her sister, Erlinda (Auntie Diday to me,) arrived from the Philippines late last night and stayed with her overnight.  I know it’s a great comfort to my mom to have her here.  Her other sister Rose (Auntie Nene) should be here from the Philippines later this week.  Her brother Ernie came from San Diego today to visit her too.  My cousins have also been in to visit.  I’m incredibly thankful for my cousin Roda.  She’s been there a lot to help with basics like positioning Mom in the bed, helping her to the bathroom, feeding, etc (she’s a nurse, along with my two aunts.) She’s been a great support for my dad and me too.  It’s nice to see family I don’t see often, I just wish it were under different circumstances.

A priest also came today to pray with her and performed the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.  Even though she wasn’t awake the whole time, I’m sure it brought her comfort and peace.

Like I said, the pain meds have made her a little loopy and she’s said some funny things because of it.  Last night she asked to play Yahtzee and said she was going to kick our butts.  (Yahtzee is how we passed the time when my dad was recovering from his open heart surgery 2 years ago.)  She was “dancing” in her bed.  It was really cute!  She also was schooling one of her nurses (a new hire going through orientation) on a treatment for low blood pressure.  “Tilt the head of the bed back and check the vitals again in 15 minutes to see if your treatment worked…”  (Mom’s been a critical care nurse for over 40 years and has worked at this hospital for the last 23 years.)  I’m sure her nurse received a few other tips last night and will get more tonight.  My mom is an incredible RN and in her heart knows that she should share the knowledge that she has.  That desire to share and teach is something I really admire about her.

Mom is in good spirits and is really at peace with the cards that have been dealt.  She knows that only God knows the number of days in our lives and we must cherish the time we have.

Please continue to pray for a miraculous healing.  Please pray that we don’t worry about how much time she may have left and that instead we enjoy the present day that the Lord has given us.

This passage was brought up the past two weeks at my Women’s Bible Study and it’s been on my heart a lot since we received the news.

Matthew 6: 25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 

Update #1: Post-op news November 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina @ 9:59 pm

My mom is out of surgery and back in her room. The portacath and g-tube were sucessfully inserted.

Dr. Z (that’s not a comic book villian, his name really does start with a Z,) the surgeon, said that they removed three liters of fluid from her belly. The accumulation of fluid is called ascites and is caused by the cancer.

The tumor is in the area between the fatty tissue and her organs (not actually in her stomach organ). It will not be removed.

Dr. Z is a talented surgeon and one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever met. He has worked with my mom for many years (Mom is a nurse) so it was tough for him to not be able to do more. Dr. Z really is a blessing from God to us.

Right now, Mom is resting in her hospital room. We’re still waiting to hear from the oncologist about the protocol for chemotherapy.

Please continue to pray that God will guide the doctors in the right direction. Pray for comfort for my mom so she can be as painfree as possible. Pray for my dad, my extended family and myself. We all try to be strong for each other, but in reality we’re like eggshells. We’re strong under pressure, but we can crack easily. Thankfully we have God who is truly our rock, especially in times like these.

Psalm 18:2 – The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

 

What’s going on…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina @ 2:45 pm

Hi everyone,

I figured this would be the best way to keep you all updated with what is going on with my mom.  I know it’s not as personal as a phone call, but with how many of you are out there praying that’s just not possible…

Two weeks ago she went to the ER after a few weeks of abdominal pain and irregular bowel movements.  She was diagnosed with diverticulitis and nodules in her intestine.  She was hospitalized two days and sent home to rest and take antibiotics.

Tuesday, November 16 she returned to the hospital with intense abdominal pain.  After three days of CT scans, ultrasounds, MRIs and lab tests she was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer.  (Stomach cancer progresses from 1-4, with 4 being the last stage.)  This means it has spread through her stomach to other organs and lymph nodes.  This is devastating news for our family, to say the least.

She is scheduled for surgery this morning to have a portacath inserted so they can start chemotherapy, a g-line for feeding and most importantly, to look at her stomach and figure out what to do about the golfball sized tumor.  The doctors aren’t sure if it would be better to remove it or to leave it there and hope that it will shrink with the chemotherapy.

We have hope and faith that, if it’s in His will, God will heal her.  We have an amazing oncologist and surgeon on our team.  The surgeon had a hand in all three of my dad’s heart related surgeries.  He is a great friend to our family and we trust his opinion completely.

At this point, we need a miracle for her to be healed, but we know that God may have other plans.  We don’t understand what’s going on in His plan, but like my pastor said a few weeks ago, if you understand your god, your god isn’t big enough.  We serve an amazing God that is so much bigger than we will ever understand, and for that I am thankful!  Thank you all for praying for my mom.  May God bless your day.