About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I Really Hate Cancer

Here is a note I recieved in my email this afteroon. This is from the husband of a lady I met online a number of years ago in a recovery forum. She is a sweet lady who has been supportive of me through my recovery and has supported our efforts on the Reservation. It is sad beyond words to hear this news. Please keep her in your prayers. I am subsituting her online name for her real name. Her blog, which is obviously not up to date, can be found here

Dear family and friends--

An update on Theodora--we've had several meetings with doctors this week--internal medicine, cancer, OB/GYN, etc. Her operation was three weeks ago Tuesday, and they are assessing her progress in that time. The good news is that has been able to do some physical therapy--walking, leg exercises--especially this week. Yesterday she walked 210 feet! That's real progress over what she could do before. And she's alert. She has some low level of pain, but nothing severe, but she does have nausea and occasional spitting up. And she's pretty weak.

The bad news is that the cancer is on her intestines, as well as elsewhere, so she has not been able to eat anything much at all--a couple of bites of jello, a couple of sips of broth every two or three days--and has not been drinking much at all either. So she has been depending for nutrition on what they call "TPN"--a total nutrition package delivered intravenously. They tried taking her off that during the daytime hours, for a couple of days, to see if she had any appetite and could eat, and that didn't work. She had nausea and vomiting as a result of trying to eat. To fight the nausea they have given her medications, and have had a tube down into her stomach to remove the stomach contents. They have the TPN running each night now--a full day's nutrition.

Yesterday they started feeding her through the stomach tube, in the hope that her system could process predigested food, and that they could gradually get her off the TPN. For a few hours that seemed to work, but last evening and last night she threw it all back up, so that's not working either--and this was just a small amount. She would have to get a whole lot more down to be up to full daily portion. One option would be to try that again in a few days, but it's unlikely to succeed.

They want to get her strong enough that she can start chemotherapy, but she's pretty far from that point right now. One possibility is to go ahead with chemotherapy even though she's not at full strength. Considering the fact that chemo causes nausea and weakness even in people who are "strong enough" for it, that doesn't really seem to be an option for Theodora. And the cancer keep spreading, day by day.

The hope has been that she can be moved to a nursing home for her recovery. (The insurance company is wanting her out of the hospital, but she's not yet at a stage that a nursing home could take her. She may need to be off the TPN, and stronger, before they're willing/able to take her. We're exploring options there.)

We just don't know what the future holds--but no one ever does, do we?
So we are, as I said, exploring options, but there don't seem to be much left. We have started talking about hospice care. We have today asked the Red Cross to process a request to the Marines to send J home 5 weeks early so he can see his Mom sooner than later. (He is scheduled to come stateside August 17, and would come home then, under his current schedule. We're asking that that be moved up.)

Keep us all in your prayers, please.


Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Amber, I know Theodora, not well, but what I do know of her is that she reached out to me when I was in pain and felt alone.

This is horrible news. I hate cancer so much. Two weeks ago someone I know had a double masectomy. Yesterday someone else I know was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I hate it hate hate it.

I will be praying for her.

Robert said...

IF i were ever to cuss cancer would make me do it nonstop!!! Sucks soooo bad Theodora was one of the kindest most caring people i encountered on the forum will be praying for her and her family thanks so much for posting this Amber

David Cho said...

Thank you for sharing this with me. I know Theodora, and she is one of the kindest people I have ever met online.

This is very sad.