As the title says, it seems like I am experiencing a vast array of emotions right now. Not only am I dreading the beginning of school because summer vacation is over and it seems like I’ll never be completely prepared for the new year, our family also has been experiencing a surprising and horrible tragedy since Friday afternoon.
My wonderful mother in law has been such an inspiration to me, not only as a person with her character, but as a wife, mother, as a teacher, and how she has continuously never given up on life no matter what it has to throw at her. About sixteen years ago, she was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia and went through two rounds of chemo several years ago—and didn’t miss a beat while going through it. She was still lively, energetic, and positive.
Four years ago in May of 2007, her white blood cell count was low again and more treatment was needed. In lieu of going through another round of chemo, she opted for a Stem Cell Transplant to hopefully completely rid her body of the cancer. After about a month in the hospital, completely loosing her hair for the first time, she came home where I was living with them until Cliff and I were married in October.
Since her stem cell transplant, Patricia has gone through a vast array of challenges and has never gotten quite back to normal. Her bones and skin have become very sensitive and weak, so the last four years have been briefly interrupted here and there with several hospital stays and new obstacles for her to overcome. She has never given up, she has always fought.
Friday afternoon, after not feeling well for a while, Patricia and my father in law went in for a visit to her cancer doctor at the Sammons Cancer Center in Baylor Hospital. Before long, Patricia began to feel worse and was experiencing intense chest pains. We later found out that Patricia had a massive heart attack and had blockage in all five arteries of her heart.
The last few days have been very difficult with Patricia, considering her heart attack came as a surprise and on top of her already weak condition. Her body was not quite strong enough earlier this week to insert a stint or do a bypass surgery to help relieve her heart. After some adjustments and aids to help her breath over the last couple of days, it looks as if she will have surgery tomorrow afternoon to install a stint in her blocked arteries in order to allow more blood flow to her heart. Doctors estimate that she has about a 50-50 chance of surviving the surgery alone, so as one would guess, the last few hours and days have been sobering for all of us in her family and friends.
Many people tend to dislike or sometimes be annoyed with their Mothers in Law. I have had the fortunate experience of the opposite. She promised me at our rehearsal dinner that she would not be my mother, “because you already have one of those!…” but promised she would be my friend, and that she has. My life would not be the same without my wonderful friendship with Patricia, and I fear of what life might be like without her there with our family.
This evening I ask that you please keep my dear Mother in Law in your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes, that life carries her gracefully into the fate designed for her, whether it is recovery here on Earth and the ongoing of living a fulfilling life with a healed heart and body, or a journey to meet her maker, where her body will be instantly healed and will hurt no more. Either way, I wish her to get well and be healed.
Here are my in-laws in a photo I took for the church directory just a couple of weeks ago: