Saturday, January 23, 2010

Devastating News

I have bad news about my Mom's health.

Devastating news.

So devastating that it has taken me an entire week to actually sit down and share the news of my mom Sharon's relapse with you. Each day I've had the goal of writing a post but I've found myself tired and void of extra time and energy.

This morning isn't much different but I'm finding it helpful to click the keys and share what's going on - what's on my heart.

Here's the bottom line.

My mothers leukemia has returned. It doesn't look good.

Relapse in Acute Myleogenous Leukemia is common however we were hoping Sharon would fall outside statistical lines and have many more years of living. She responded favorably to treatment and has rebuilt her system with nutritional supplements. She looks great and she feels great. If you saw her you would never guess that she is a terminal patient. (picture taken with Carissa Christmas Day 2009)

If you want to understand Sharon's disease here is a short tutorial from
  • "Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow. In AML, the bone marrow makes many unformed cells called blasts. Blasts normally develop into white blood cells that fight infection. However, the blasts are abnormal in AML. They do not develop and cannot fight infections. The bone marrow may also make abnormal red blood cells and platelets. The number of abnormal cells (or leukemia cells) grows quickly. They crowd out the normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets the body needs
The devastating news of Mom's relapse came shortly after her monthly doctor's visit. During the appointment Dr. V expressed minimal concern over her blood work but it was understood that he was going to send her labs in for further testing. When she received a call two days later Dr. V told her that the labs showed a return of leukemic cells and that she is out of remission.

Hours later my brother sat by her side while Dr. V shared the harrowing realities and outlined her options.

Unfortunately options are limited.

Sharon has also consulted with the head physician at City of Hope, the Bone Marrow Transplantation Center in Phoenix, AZ. His assessment, while delivered with honest professionalism, was sobering.

A sobering confirmation of the devastating news.

For now we are awaiting extensive test results from a lab in California. Also, on Tuesday (January 26th) Sharon will have a bone marrow biopsy. The combination of these test results will better equip her Doctor about her condition. In light of this information my mom will evaluate and ultimately decide her treatment plan.

Her decision is pivotal. We all agree that her decision about treatment is hers. No one can make this decision for her. She has to own the decision and live and die the decision. literally.

So, along with our family, will you please join us in praying for my Mom Sharon?Please Pray:
  • Sharon is able to discern God's voice and direction well.
  • That Sharon experiences peace about her decision and treatment plan.
  • For clear test results and wisdom for Dr. V and the medical team
  • That our family would know how to best love and support Sharon through this health crisis
  • That our family, in the bigger sense would walk through this trial well
  • For Sharon's dreams to be made possible - for her wish to be to travel with our family to Disneyland, for a family reunion and for other special memory trips
Thank you for your prayers and for walking this road alongside me.


  1. Oh my Lord....I will continue to pray for you mom Sharon. God be with you and your family and may you feel His deep love for all of you. Leif & Susan

  2. Ang--Praying for you always. My own mama is getting a stem cell transplant in a month to treat Multiple Myeloma. God is with them.

  3. We're Sharon's friends and neighbors here in Peoria, Arizona. We're praying for her and will provide any help and comfort during this trying time. We love Sharon and want to enjoy many more happy times together.
    Love, Paulette & Jeff Blackman
    Love, Lore Kruggel

  4. We will be praying for your Mom as well as for your entire family. God bless you all.

  5. Angie - We are praying for your mom and your family during this very difficult time. My heart breaks in wanting to be there and help in any way that I can tangibly do so. I know that for now,I can pray.
    Lord, I lift my friends up to you. You know them and love them and You alone will hold them and guide them through this time. May the incredibly wonderful body of Christ there at Covenant be terrific supporters of Angie, Jeff, Carissa & Caleb at this time and may you surround Sharon with equally supportive people there in Arizona. Lord, please provide discernment for the doctors and Sharon regarding her treatment and may they all feel Your awesome power and presence during this time. Amen!

  6. Angie, your mother is very easy to love, and how beautiful she looked at Christmas time. I think she glowed more than the Christmas lights. Please let her know that we are praying as a church for her wisdom and her health...that we love her like we love you and Jeff...and that we are absolutely confident that God will carry her through this season. Much love to you and your family!