I've had a lot of emails and messages coming in asking how mums doing, so I thought this space would be as good as any to update people on whats been happening in our lives lately. Mum and Dad have spent the last month in Phoenix, Arizona at a natural cancer treatment centre in Tempe. Things had been going OK for the first few weeks, not a lot of improvement, but things hadn't been going downhill either. We were all hopeful that it was just a slow start, and that it would soon pick up. While it was hard having them over there, and being stuck back here, we believed that this was the only option for her at the stage she was in, and we believed that this was the way that God wanted us to go. And we still believe that was the right decision. We wanted to throw everything we had at it and give it our best shot. Which is what we did.
Last week (almost two weeks) we started to get the feeling that things were shifting, and not in a positive way. Mum couldn't eat anything at all, hardly even water. She was exhausted all the time, and slept all day. Dad sounded more and more worried with each phone call, and we could tell that something was wrong. He told us on the Wednesday that he thought he needed to bring mum home. This was a big step; bringing mum home meant giving up on the treatment that we had all put our hopes in, and Dad was heartbroken. We all were. During that day mum continued to get worse and worse and Dad wasn't sure how to look after her anymore. (The cancer clinic only shuts on a Wednesday, and of course. It was a Wednesday.) So Dad urgently rung up the pastors family and asked if they could help him, if they knew of a hospital somewhere that he could rush mum to. The pastors wife, Becky, told him of a hospital and together they raced mum in and the doctors immediately put her on a drip and starting medicating her. Dad said that she was extremely close to death that day. It all just went downhill so quickly. On the Thursday morning I got a call from Dad saying that we all needed to race over there to see mum, as they weren't sure how long she would have left. So we all left work, raced home, packed bags and got ready for the flight. Thankfully we had a friend from church who organised ALL the flights for us and booked everything in less than a day. He was such a Godsend. I don't know how we would have gotten over there in time without him.
20 hours later Jonny, my mums sister Sonja, my Uncle Lester and myself all arrived in Phoenix, Arizona. (my siblings were on a later flight, they arrived the next morning) In the morning we quickly went to the hospital to see our mum. I'll never forget the moment when I first walked in the door and we saw each other for the first time in over a month. We looked at each other and we both burst into tears. The relief of getting there in time and being able to see her again alive was overwhelming. I feel so blessed to be able to have that time with her in the hospital, crying and talking, and I was able to ask her some questions and she gave me advice for the future, which I was so desperate to hear from her. God really blessed us with that time. My siblings arrived later that evening and we were a family reunited. Such a blessing to have so many siblings. I love all three of my siblings, they're so much stronger than me, I look up to them so much. They're always positive and fun, and they definitely brought some light to the seemingly dark situation.
We spent the next few days trying to get mums fluids up, and she was able to start eating small solids again. My Oma (mums mum) was able to come all the way from Austria, as well as Hannelaura, one of mums best friends. Having Oma there just helped mum that extra bit. I know she misses her family so much over there, and she really treasured the time she had with them in the hospital over there, but it was bittersweet. It's hard to say goodbye to someone when you know that there's a possiblity that you might never see them again. On the fourth day of being in Phoenix, we FINALLY got the amazing news, that the doctor had OK'd her to fly! We were excited to take her home but also worried at the same time. This really would be the flight of her life.
We got to the airport and said our goodbyes to my Oma & Hannelaura, which was just plain hard. This was definitely a tough moment for every person in our family there. The love of a mother and a daughter is so strong, and you could see the pain written all over my Oma's face. But God held us all up. He somehow gave us the strength to get on the plane and He gave us the strength to get the whole way home. Mum slept on and off on the 12 hour plane trip, and thankfully had a place to lie down which eased her pain slightly. God held us all up on that plane trip.
Mum is now back in New Zealand, surrounded by family, friends and a huge church family who love her so much. The love that has been shown to our family since we have been home is beyond words. People have been so caring and kind in any way they know how and we've appreciated every text, every phone call and every hug. We all can't believe that she is back in her home. For now, we wait. She has been OK since being home. So far there has been no crucial need for her to go into the hospital, she would rather be in her own home, which we all agree is the best option. She has medicine to ease the pain and children with hands to massage her sore legs. Even though its been a blurr and the last few weeks have been the toughest of our lives, we have felt Gods presence the entire time. He's been that still small voice in the quiet. Calming us down, teaching us to lean on Him fully. To place all of our cares on Him and to still praise Him in the storms.
// Our precious Mum passed away two weeks later, after putting up a hard fight against cancer. She passed away in her home, surrounded by family. We appreciate everyones prayers, and thankyou so much for the support. God is upholding our family. //