Nan Mustard's Recovery

This blog is a record of Erin (Nan) Mustard's recovery.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What if?

Dear Friends and Family,

Sometimes we are tempted to play the what if game, what if nan had not been struck by GIST, this rare cancer that has been her enemy for the past 10 years. What if this gifted young woman had been allowed to live her life as it was before? How would our present situation be different? Of course we would love to be without this disease and its brutal attack on her every waking moment, or course we would love to have Nan be able to enjoy life like she once did, free and active, independent and productive.

When I consider what Nan has had to endure, the hundreds of IVs, dozens and dozens of CT scans, 5 major surgeries, hundreds of units of blood, dozens of different medicines, days of nausea, thousands of miles on airliners flying to and from cancer centers, Houston, Boston, Portland, Sacramento, Duarte.... yet her spirit thrives. For those of you who know her well this is a precious privilege to see the human spirit endure in spite of terrible obstacles. Nan is demonstrating day by day how one lives when under constant pressure, pain, suffering. I consider it a very special privilege to be with her, to witness her courage and steadfastness day by day in spite of her present realities.

Today Nan has dealt with constant nausea since early, 4 am, this morning. What causes it? We don't know but we did Zophram at 4 and then again later in the morning. We actually had a long night of rest and slept in until nearly 8 am this morning, somewhat of a record for the two of us since sleep is usually over more like 5:30 or 6. We took Starr to the groomers in Brentwood to get her to a point where she smells less like a dog, important since she is with Nan 24/7 when Nan is not in the hospital. When we got home I took her up to bed for a nap and started to work. Later I ran back for Starr and she and I shared some french fries at In N Out. Then home to work some more. nan came down mid afternoon and we started finding things she might like to eat, green olives, nachos, soup, chips, cheetos, milk, more green olives. She went back up to bed around 9 and was very tired. We will find out tomorrow if she is due for a transfusion but if so we can't go back to John Muir since they stopped taking Blue Cross last Saturday. Today better leg bags arrived by Fed Express. The ones at UCSF were really bad so now she will be more comfortable.

Jan talked to us a couple times today, she beat the snow storm home but is experiencing the other side of the weather now in Denver while our weather here continues to be about as good as it gets, cool nights and decent days. Jan, thanks for all you did. I'm enjoying locating things in the pantry and kitchen and so far, everything I need I have found.

Nan and I get used to our present experience and don't dwell on how it could have been different. This is our reality and we attempt to make the best of it every day. I am impressed and inspired by Nan's courage, her spunk and her inner faith and spirit. When you call or when you drop a card like the one that came today from my sister Sibyl it brings light into our lives. Thanks for doing that. Nan lights up when her phone rings and she enjoys normal contact with people, hearing what is happening in their lives and the chance to share how she is doing. So please keep the contacts coming. They do make a big difference.

I do need some help for next monday. we are a place right now where Nan needs some assistance from time to time during the day. With the five bags she has to work with she cannot move about to freely. I am going to be out seeing properties in Dixon, Vacaville, Hercules and Vallejo on monday and I really need someone to drop by mid day and for the afternoon if possible. We might try to see Jason and Jo this weekend for an over night trip, not sure yet, havn't even checked with them yet. If you could help on monday please let us know.

I would ask once again for your continued prayers for Nan's healing. The leaking seems to be less today and we certainly hope that is a trend.

Good night or good morning depending on when you read this.

We are sending our love to you,

tim and nan


  • At 5:25 AM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    Good Morning!

    I'd love to spend the day with Nan on Monday! The miles prohibit that however.

    Though we can't live on "what ifs" lets look back on those 10 years..... Yes, they have been difficult, but they have brought the two of you much closer together. You have had a real test of faith. You have learned dependence on God. You have seen so many times that He has sent people to help in times of need. Money has come through as you thought you were financially sinking. You have discovered just how many good friends you have all over the USA. You have been a witness and encouragement to so many people. Although it has been very difficult it has also had its merits. So, "what if"? None of us knows. You could both be going 90 miles an hour in different directions or life could be very good in healthy bodies. We must trust daily in God's leading and take each day as it comes.

    Life continues to go at a rapid pace around here. Just 4 more days left in October! Yea! November slows down and we can go back to living again. A lesson we need to learn from your experience is to live each day to its fullest. Don't get so caught up in daily living that we forget to enjoy each other and the blessings God has given us. Take time for life!
    Yes, we are all guilty of rushing through life. Suddenly we will be one of those "old" people and wonder how we got there so quickly.

    So, we continue on ~ trying to slow our lives down and wait "patiently" for the Lord to lead. Our desire is to have time for others, take better care of ourselves, reduce the stress level, enjoy the blessings God has so generously bestowed on us. Yet for now we take each day at a time and try to be faithful stewards of those blessings. In His time He will make our next step clear.

    We love you both dearly and remember you in prayer daily! Remember the blessings God has given you and the blessing you have been to others in the last 10 years!

    Love and Prayers ~ Carol

  • At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol said…

    Hi Tim & Nan,

    How We wish that things could be as they were befor the "Cancer" that has invaded Our lives.

    It seems like only yesterday that the 4 of Us were standing next to each other and trying Our best to Sing just the way that Roger wanted. What a Sweet Music Ministry We had the privledge of being a part of.

    Some day Tim & Nan,(Roger & Carol )too. We will do it again, Can hardly wait.

    How much we both wish that we could be of Help to You on Monday but for Us (Carrol) it's Chemo time again so that means 5 days of "not the best" at Our house but We are thankful that the treatment is keeping Carrol on a fairly stable mode. It has been 18 months for Her this month.

    Our Prayers will continue for You Both. We do so much want better life quality for Dear Nan.

    Praise & thanks to The Lord for His continued blessings on Us all.

    We enjoyed a safe trip to Apple Hill today on very crowded highways, Weather was great, good food Vege Burgers & Apple Pie ! At Larsen's Barn.

    Much Love,
    Bob & Carrol.

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