Deep breath.  Ok, it’s more than time to share this, but there’s something about writing something like this that is so difficult, even when it’s just recording what is actually going on in real life.  This post has been revised over and over again, but here it is…

(If you’re new here and would like some background, I’ve written here and here about my mom.)

I feel like I got to witness a true miracle a couple of weeks ago. My brother got married (that’s not the miracle!) and my mom was there to see it happen. This was a big goal for her, as the diagnoses just got worse and worse over the last several months. In January it was that the cancer had spread to her spine, lung, stomach, and returned to her liver. In early May, we found out that she also has a brain tumor. And though she got to go home after less than a week in the hospital, she has really just continued to go downhill.

As an update on her condition: Hospice comes twice a week to monitor her, including pain level and overall health. She is unable to walk due to balance problems and mainly, weakness, and she has double vision most of the time. She is generally groggy and sleepy, but is not always able to nap when she wants to.  Morphine is being used to control her pain.  The combination of the tumor and her grogginess makes her confused much of the time, and hallucinating on occasion, too (nothing frightening, just things that aren’t there, for instance, thinking that she’s working on a cross-stitch project).  My dad and my sister Hayley, along with lots of help from my aunt and many family and friends, are taking exceptional care of her at home.

But here’s the miraculous part of the story. Two weekends ago (May 31-June 1) was apparently particularly bad for my mom. Lots of hallucinations and incoherent speech. We weren’t there that weekend, but everyone in my family said that it was worse than it had been. Then, on Monday morning, the week of the wedding, she woke up less disoriented, and she stayed that way all week. Only twice (in the same afternoon) do I remember her being confused about something, and it was simply her wondering where my dad was (he was working, and she thought he was out at the cabin, or the home of a family member…nothing “out there” really).  She spoke coherently the rest of the week, and knew what was going on, what day it was, even talking to her hospice nurse about how she was feeling.

Mom was able to come to the wedding, to pictures beforehand and some after, and then come back for the dinner at the reception. She was strong and awake the whole time (no small feat, since she’s always feeling so tired). Her friends and family just surrounded her with love…everyone was so thankful she was there. She left the reception around 6:30, and then actually got a good night’s sleep that night.

On Sunday morning, a little bit of confusion set in again…not like the week before, but still, it was there. And she was in more pain than she had been all weekend…which fatigue from such a big day the day before, as well as leaving the house so many times (which she hadn’t done in weeks), could have contributed to. Who knows at this point.  And when we saw her this last weekend (Father’s Day), she seemed to have deteriorated even further, resembling how she was the weekend before the wedding, and this is the norm now.

Despite all of this, I know that we got what we prayed for, and then some. Mom was at the wedding, and she knew what was going on the whole time, even if she wasn’t able to talk about it much.  And I am just so, so grateful for that, and thank all of you out there who have been praying for us.

Jake and Dana are enjoying their honeymoon this week in the Dominican Republic.  They return on Sunday, and Zach and I will bring them home from the airport, so that we can see Mom.  This is a rough place to be, knowing that the end is near, and there’s nothing we can do about it.  I’m trying hard not to get mired down in the “but it’s just not fair” mindset, because guess what?  It’s not fair.  And we weren’t promised fair.

There are so many Bible verses that I’m trying to keep in mind as we go through this:

* 2 Corinthians 1:3-4…maybe I am (or members of my family are) being prepared for something else by going through this…who knows? All I know is that since I came across this verse several weeks ago, I think of it often.
* 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
* John 16:33

I guess the only way to wrap this up is just to say that we covet your prayers…pray that we’ll be strong enough to make it through, that I’m able to maintain a sense of normalcy for my boys, and that my mom just isn’t in pain.

18 responses to “Miracle

  1. I will continue to pray for her… and for all of you who love her.

  2. Nicole, you’ve been so strong through all of this. It is truly amazing and inspiring. Thanks for keeping us all updated & sharing God’s miracles.
    I’m still praying.

  3. I always get goosebumps when I hear of God’s miracles. God is so good, even in the hard times.

    Something similar happened for my wedding. My grandma was ill and everyone told me to accept the fact that she would not be at my wedding. I insisted that she would be there, that she wouldn’t miss her granddaughter’s wedding for anything. (Me and my 3 sisters were her only grandchildren, so we were her pride and joy) Sure enough, she came to the wedding. She didn’t stay for the entire reception, but I cried more when I saw her at my wedding than I did when I saw Aaron for the first time that day!

    Keep us updated, and let us know if you need anything!

  4. Always in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. I know this is very hard for you to write about, and you’ve done a beautiful job. After the wedding, so many of my friends (including my friends from h.s. that met you last summer) asked (or e-mailed) me how the wedding went and if your mom was able to be there. When I told them how well she did, being able to attend part of the rehearsal dinner evening and so much of the wedding activities, they were truly thrilled. I told them all that I believe it was not only an answer to many months of prayer, but was also a special gift from God to her and to your family for her to be a part of that weekend.

    All of you are being prayed for every step of the way. Don’t be afraid of where your emotions take you; God can handle all of them.

  6. The prayers will always continue for you and the family. You did a wonderful job writing this, I’m sure it was very hard to do. Thinking of you all the time.

  7. It sounds like it was truly a blessing. If you ever want to talk please feel free to e-mail me. I am sure Olivia told you we went through the exact same thing with my grandfather, I’m a good listener. You’re in our prayers.

  8. we’ll keep praying for your mom and family.

  9. It really was a blessing seeing your mom do so well at the wedding. Eric and I continue to pray for your mom and your family.

  10. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. You are an incredible witness to those around you! Please let us know if we can do anything for you!! We love you guys and are praying for you!

  11. Thank you for sharing this miracle your family was blessed with. Such an amazing testimony as to how much God cares about these things that are important to us… the things that make these hard times just a little more positive. It is truly amazing that your mom was able to really be there for so much of the wedding.
    I will definitely be praying for you and your family Nicole.

  12. Nicole, Matt, and the whole Pals family, you are in my prayers. And you most certainly will be strong enough to make it through because God is your strength. And nothing is too difficult for Him. And he watched his Son die and knows what you need to make it through. And it is amazing to read this post titled “Miracle” in the midst of your suffering–it shows your strong faith and commitment to His will. And always remember that difficulties are so often what brings people closer to God. I know that this whole situation has taught ME so much, and it CLEARLY has impacted all of your friends and family. I love you and am so happy for Dana and Jake’s perfect wedding.

  13. Thanks for writing on this tough subject. Sometimes we need reminders of all the blessings we have in life. . . even when the going gets rough, God finds a way to shine through and show us He’s listening! I will keep up the prayers.

  14. keep your praying for you mom……………..,

  15. Wow! I’m glad I stumbled on this blog.

    Our God truly is a God of miracles. I will keep you in my prayers.


  16. Thanks for sharing this with all of your family and friends. I know how it hurts to talk about this at times. There are days that I struggle with it alot and others that I have thanked God for all of the blessing he has given us. I think all that has happened, that your mother and I have shown what it means when they say “Unconditional Love”. I’m not patting myself on the back I just stating our feeling for one another. Thanks for being a great daughter.

  17. Pingback: Update on My Mom « Here’s the Diehl

  18. Pingback: My Mom « Here’s the Diehl

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