Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sharon and Dana arrive to be with Nan

Dear Family and Friends,
It is 8:45, I've just been to the store for batteries for the pumps that provide TPN and pain control to Nan. For the first time this evenings shipment was not complete. 4 days of TPN and no batteries at all. So for the first time I purchased batteries and also milk and orange juice for our guests.
Nan had a decent night with labored breathing part of the time. She needed to blow her nose but could not handle the tissues so I held and she managed to find the strength to blow, felt good to see her manage it. We had a quiet morning and took several calls from family and friends, some business affairs and then George Miller called to say he was on his way to see us. We were touched by his coming out. He and Yvonne have been stanch supports of Nan's battles and victories over the years. They were with us in the waiting room during the first 4 surgeries and I can tell you, they are the greatest people to have around. I mentioned to George if we could borrow a space heater and he arrives with a brand new one in a box. It really does the job and has lifted the intense chill all day, thanks so much George. George held Nan's hand and prayed with us before he left, what a tower of strength and faith and what a joy to have his visit. For those of you who have George and Yvonne as friends you know how lucky you are and for those of you who don't know them I hope you have friends in your lives just like them. Great travelers, we've been through Petra, Jordan and Israel with them and there are no better fellow travelers than these two. I remember a Sabbath morning walking the wall of Jerusalem and getting fresh squeezed orange juice for someone, George and I did this together. You don't forget experiences like that.
Sharon and Dana hooked up in Houston and flew here together arriving in Oakland early. Mary picked them up and before we expected them they were here. Both went to Nan directly and spent some tough sorrowful moments there hold her hands and letting her know they had arrived, that they loved her and that they were so glad to see her. There is a lot of powerful love in this family and we have seen it over and over again the past few days. Nothing will ever take the sting out of what is happening to Nan but the grief shared between the family and friends reminds one of the heaven to come where strife and bitterness are gone and caring people reaching out to each other is the norm. Marilyn has continued to keep a careful watch over Nan and has found only a small amount of bleeding today, a much better report that a couple days ago. Tomorrow morning Terry will take blood cultures, at this point I'm not exactly sure it will make a difference but it has been ordered and we will see it through.
Both Jason and Nikki have been in touch today keeping tabs on mom's condition. My brother Jerry has also checked in as well as Pam, Irene and others.
Nan has moments of semi alertness in which she seems to know who is holding her hand, she shakes her head yes when we mention Adavan as that lets her sleep calmly with less effort. We try to keep her head fairly straight on the pillow and her upper body somewhat elevated, helps clear her lungs as she has trouble coughing up stuff. Nan is continuing the battle for life in the same manner as she has lived the rest of her life, calmly, stubborn and determined and you can't help but be impressed deeply by her love for life.
We hope and pray for a peaceful night and for God to keep His vigil over her. God only knows the immediate future and we have decided to trust that He knows best. Did He cause this? No way but He is never far away in helping all get through the experience.
I have been comforted by the many thoughtful words written to the blog. It seems you who write in know just what to say to help and I print the messages out so all can read and be blessed by the messages. Thank you friends and family for staying tuned through this impossible time, today I've been scanning through some of the pictures the kids found when they were here. I'm reminded again what a lovely woman I married as I look at photos from our young years, Nan was 19 when we married, our years of parenthood with nan's changing hair colors and outfits, our more recent years of travel and grand parenthood and photos of Nan as she struggled with the after effects of surgeries and recovery. She is beautiful in every photo, a class act, a real woman who evolved into a stronger and even more amazing woman as she aged. Why we have to experience the curtain call half way through the play I don't understand but I do know the years, 36 and 1/2 have been amazing and profound. Life was seldom dull with Nan around, she shopping to do, trips to plan, kids to shop for, friends to lunch with, travel plans for others to secure and some more shopping. She drove fast, stopped hard, could shop for what seemed like 5 mile walks and would come back for more. She slept well, was always on the phone to someone, had favorite TV shows you did not mess with and extreme loyalty to her family and friends. No one messed with people she loved! Nan never has known about the gray areas, those areas between right and wrong. She looked at the situation, decided quickly what was right and that was that, no discussion was required and no amount of argument could make black white. She was a ruthless teacher of appraisers, demanded excellence and hard work, would not settle for anything sloppy and did not really care what anyone thought of her if it was a matter of principle. She was a quiet leader who did not live by consensus but by principle all the time. So I stand in awe of having her as my own for all these years, I have loved the experience of standing before thousands and blending our voices together singing duets, of singing in Carnegie Hall, St Stephens, Notre Dame, Dorothy Chandler in LA where they film the Oscars, we have done it all it seems.
So tonight as nan sleeps somewhat peacefully in her little hospital bed my heart is with her completely. God has blessed us richly in so many ways and tonight I love His special lady, Nan.

Thank you for your care, prayer and warmth.


Nan and Tim and Marilyn and Sharon and Dana


  • At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Conners said…

    Dear Tim and Nan,
    I was touched by your sincere tribute to Nan in tonight's blog, Tim. You are eloquent. What's more, you actions over the years have shown that you truly believe all you have said in praise of Nan. What a wonderful couple you are. You have both ministered to us in many ways, and you continue to do so through your example of faith in God, affirmation of others, and love for your family. You are with us, as always, in our prayers tonight.
    --Joyce and Glen Conner

  • At 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a day! Filled with understanding. It is a joy to be around you and Nan. That love you have for each other and the extra to go around to friends and spilling out onto stranges as well. We really see it when in the really difficult times you can still understand, appreciate and acknowledge the little helps that people offer.

    Thank you Tim, it is a wonderful gift that you share with us. The love we witness you sharing gives all of us more hope and strengthens our faith.


    PS The next time you need hot air let me know. I have a limitless supply.

  • At 3:12 AM, Anonymous singzprayz said…

    Dear Tim and Nan,
    You dont know me personally but I work with Dear Dana and love her dearly. To see the hurt and sorrow and love in her eyes when she speaks of her sister tugs at my heart at how I feel about my own sister. We are blessed to have Dana as you are to have been a part of Nans life. I am sorry I could not have ever met her, she sounds like an amazing person. My prayers are with you daily as you go through this, I walked this path with my father in law in July so I hold you all in my thoughts and prayers. Your family strength and love is a tribute to your legacy. What an awesome family to be a part of, hold on tight to each other and to God. May his arms hold nan with the love and mercy he has for all of us. May peace be with all of you.
    God Bless,
    Teri ....Mc Adams Jr. High

  • At 4:13 AM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    What a special tribute to a very special lady! It was filled with deep love and admiration. Your peace also shown through. I was thinking this a.m. about the number of people Nan's life has touched ~ she's amazing. She has had more courage and determination than anyone else I have known. She has played a valuable part in GIST research hoping for help for herself, but also knowing it may help someone else. Once she was diagnosed she determined to live her life to the fullest ~ she did. Her life was not lived in vain.

    And you, Tim, have been a real trooper by her side supporting her in her interests and now with her medical needs. I'm sure you know more about taking care of Nan than any medical personnel and you have done a remarkable job. You have an amazing support system ~ devoted friends who come in a heart beat. It would be interesting to know just how many people are following the blog.

    It is good to see you are at peace. God is good and is surrounding you with His love. He sends his representatives in the form of friends. Our prayers are being answered in so many ways. Now you have Dana, Sharon and Marilyn there with you. You are all blessed to have each other.

    So we continue to keep all of you close today in our thoughts and prayers asking God to be near you and continue to hold you up during this difficult time.

    Love and prayers ~ Carol

  • At 9:50 AM, Blogger Irene Wing said…

    Your description of the scene of Dana, Sharon and Nan all together really touched our hearts. I really sensed the deepest love among them as they all held each other and expressed heartfelt words that sisters have for each other. Also, your friends George and Yvonne must have been an added blessing to yesterday. What a testimony of Nan's effect has on so many.
    I pray that your hearts are overflowing with love and contentment and filled with peace.
    In His Love,


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