Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Nan has friends and family close as she holds on...

Dear Friends and Family,

Its just after 10 pm and Nan is finally settling down into some rest. She has been very troubled this evening and has been moving her hands about, we don't know what is wrong and since she can't tell us directly we just try to find answers.
She did pretty well last night but gave me several scares with troubled breathing. I gave her Adavan at 6 this morning and she rested for some time. She has had someone holding her hand or touching her arms nearly all day today. Our visitors have included Donna Want, a long time friend and prayer warrior from Lodi. She is an amazing lady and has helped us out many times including the satelite dish for the Christian broadcasting. Thank you Donna for your help and visit today! Pam was able to come over mid day and held nan's hand and talked loving things to her. Tonight Pam is at the emergency room with a sick friend, that girl never stops giving and giving. This evening Barb and Gerry Lammerding came by, directly from George and Yvonne Millers 50th wedding anniversary celebration in Tracy. It was great to see them as they have been close friends for many years. Gerry showed me several photos he had taken at the party so in a way we got to attend. Jason, Jo, Clayton, Timothy and Juli arrived early afternoon and Nan got to touch her precious Grandson again and again. Timothy was snatched up by Sharon, Jan, Dana and Marilyn and was given some special attention. Turns out Juli will only be visiting until Tuesday when she flies to Singapore and then Australia to see family. They are bummed about losing her so soon. It was very special to have both Jason and Jo sit with mom and talk with her. She held their hands tightly and it was pretty obvious that she knew who was visiting.
Marilyn has been faithfully watching over Nan in spite of the many people who want to spend time with her. Marilyn can often figure out what she is saying or wanting better than the rest of us. Sharon spent a large portion of the day working on Christmas cards that Nan had wanted sent out. Dana has prepared some outstanding food and plenty of it, cookies, veges, real and fake meat, waffles for breakfast, wow, the house smells so good with all the food being prepared.
Nikki and Keanna went to a built a bear store today but built a doll instead, it sounds so cute and has its own little pet and a little pet carrier. Hopefully we will see it soon.
Marilyn demonstrated a new skill today, she took pity on me and opened the deer ornaments which are covered with white lights and stand in the yard looking beautiful. So this evening we have the globe running and 3 very white deer standing guard. Marilyn is really amazing, she knows a lot about a lot of subjects including doing Mom's dressing changes, fixing computer issues, assembling yard deer, creating meals and expressing loving support to nan about 18 hours a day. Last time she was here she sorted all of our papers for the last year and got them into a file system. Took her like two days to do it all, for me perhaps two years if I had ever gotten started. We know its hard for her to be away from her precious little grandson and her daughter and son in law and we really appreciate what she has done to help us.
This evening we have no better idea of the timing of Nan's decline than before. To me it seems she is weaker and less able to do some things every day but I'm not sure really about all of that. I do know we have all told her clearly that we think she has fought a good brave fight and that is alright with us if she decides to take a rest, a sleep. She is no ordinary woman and does not appear to have considered giving up yet.
Thank you dear friends for visiting this weekend, you know you are welcome any time.

In the morning we have to say our good byes to Sharon as Mary picks her up at 7 for a trip to Oakland and then home to the valley of Texas. Sharon and Nan have had a special relationship since childhood and it has continued here as they have spent countless hours together holding hands and sharing love. It is hard to consider Sharon leaving, she is such a special person.

Fortunately we get to keep Jan another day and Dana says she can stay longer, you just can't imagine how much better things are when we have several people who love Nan and each other all under the same roof. I have been lifted, encouraged and affirmed by their devotion to Nan and me.

Now its TPN time. I will be hanging our last bag tonight and we hope to get more from Critical Care in a shipment tomorrow. Terry is coming for blood work and vitals in the morning and has agreed to help move Nan enough so we can get fresh linen under her. We have to be so careful when moving her as the leaking spot on the side of the tumor is huge and continues to weep blood all the time.
I will include some photos from today, I think it might help you to feel the experience of being here better and to know Nan is being cared for very well. Of all I especially photos with nan and her grandchildren. They fill her heart and her biggest regret is that she is not able to get down and play with them like old times. I hope you enjoy the photos.

nan and tim and marilyn and dana and jan and sharon

I have included a couple photos from the past as well today.


  • At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tim needs a Testosterone shot! Bring one quick. He has taken letting women (aka Marilyn )set up his Christmas yard features. This would not be that bad a breach of male etiquette but the the deer Tim, not the Deer! Don't you remember back in the olden days (last week)when the rugged hunter went into the woods and brought back the deer thus establishing the correct protocol. MEN do the DEER the women do the tree. Tim you must go to the nearest bar for reprograming as soon as possible. Now would be good.


    ps Can Marilyn come over to our house and play?

    pps Did John or Karen Cress give you the hug that I sent you from George and Yvonne's 50 anniversary party?

  • At 1:05 AM, Blogger Irene Wing said…

    It was so good to hear that Nan had so many visitors to fill her heart with such deep affection. I'm sure the Christmas decorations gave Nan a way to enjoy some festivities with Keanna and little Timothy. How adorable the children looked in the photos. It was also good to see the photos of all your visitors. By the way, if the "elves" are available, may I also sign up for their help?
    Nan has been so brave dealing with the bleeding and breathing issues. How incredible Marilyn has been being Nan's special caregiver alongside with Tim. We are so grateful that God has given you all such strength and comfort this weekend.

  • At 7:21 AM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    Another day dawns and you continue your vigil with Nan. It's so hard to watch your loved one get weaker and weaker. You have told her of your love and devotion, you have given her permission to "let go". It's the long hours of waiting for the body to shut down that is so painful for those who love her. Tim, I'm so thankful that you are not alone. You have a marvelous support system ~ Marilyn, Dana, Jan, Sharon, friends who come by, your blog readers, friends who call and those of us who are far away and can only keep you close in our thoughts and prayers.

    Thank you so much for the hundreds of blogs you so faithfully write each day. It helps us feel a part of your lives. You are honest in your writings sharing your frustrations and joys and it joins our hearts to yours in your struggle.

    We love you and continue to hold you close in our hearts today.

    Continued love and prayers ~ Carol

  • At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tim, I woke up in the night with memories of Nan flooding my mind, (around 1:30). Thought I'd share them with you.
    My first memories are of when Nan was a Senior at Lodi Academy. I wasn't quite done with grade school yet. My brother Tom brought home a record of the Lodian Singers. I think it's the only one they ever made. I loved that record. My "Aunt" Valerie told me all about the fabulous Nan Nelson who's beautiful voice was part of it. We also attended some of the school's concerts and I remember seeing her sing with other students. She was so beautiful she didn't seem real; long blonde hair, incredible blue eyes. To me, she was a "celebrity".
    My next memory is of meeting both of you at Pinecrest Camp. You had recently become the Pastor at the Tracy Church and happened to be the Camp Pastor at Pinecrest that summer. It was a wonderful summer and nice to have a connection with home there.
    Back home again, I have vivid memories of Nan taking two adorable toddlers down the aisle at church to sit near the front on the piano side. They were SO cute. I'm so glad to see they're both doing well now. As secretary here in Waterford, I get a letter from MBA every once in a while signed by Jason. It makes me a proud to see where he is now and remember that darling blonde little boy walking (sometimes) down the aisle at church.
    I have to confess that it was years later when you had been singing with the Roger Peden Chorale a while that it finally dawned on me that Nan was the famous "Nan Nelson" from Lodi Academy. If I seemed a bit shy at times it was because I was in awe.
    Soon after that Nan went on a diet and brought me a coat that was too big for her then. It was a beautiful coat; nicer than I've ever had. I loved that coat and wore it everywhere. It's finally beyond use now; but I can't get rid of it. It's such a special reminder of a loving gift. It's carefully packed in a box.
    I'll never forget hearing the two of you singing the duet from "How Great Thou Art" together. I can hear it in my mind as clear as if it were this morning.
    Sorry for such a long comment; but thank you both for some wonderful memories.


  • At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Pam (a.k.a Louise) said…

    Dear Mustard family,
    I am a fellow GISTer who has been lurking on your blog since the beginning but feel that I should let you know that now for additional emotional support. I have laughed with you, cried with you and prayed with you. My prayers now are that you continue to feel God's arms around you through this emotional time. Nan is in God's hands, there is no doubt of that. I have asked the GSI suppurt group to remember Nan and your family in their prayers.
    Pam (a.k.a Louise)

  • At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello Tim,

    I am here reading your blogs and saying my prayers for Nan and all of you.

    Such a very wonderful groups of friends and family. Who could have asked for more love.

    Stay strong,

    Sue M

  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger Mary Lou (Torland) Ham said…

    Your blog is so powerful! Over the past few weeks we have all watched you go through the full range of human emotions--like Jacob's time of trouble, and not unlike the cries of Jesus in Gethsemane: "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. ...If not possible without my drinking it, your will be done."

    How the Father must be saying to all the heavenly beings, "Have you considered my friends, Tim & Nan?" Like Job, we long for God to talk to us, to explain things in the here & now. And, also like Job, I believe God is saying to the onlooking universe (regarding you & Nan & family & supporting friends), "They have said of Me what is right." Job 42:7. This kind of trust, I think wins the Great Controversy.

    May you experience God's arms holding each of you close today.

    Mary Lou (Torland) Ham

  • At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Tim & Family,

    With heavy hearts We read the blog this afternoon. How much We wish that things could be as they were before Cancer invaded Our Dearest Ones.

    Please take comfort in the Promices of The Lord to Hold Us Up in times of Trouble. Some Day soon the Music that We all loved to Sing so much will again ring out in the Halls of Heaven.

    God Bless You & Your family Tim as You see Nan through this toughest of times. I know that She feels every touch of Love that each of You are giving Her every minute.

    We continue in Prayer for You & Yours,

    Bob & Carrol.

  • At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am here via the GSI website and wanted to let you know that Nan will be in my prayers.

    Tim, what a beautiful love story you are writing.

    As a care giver myself, I just finished reading the book entitled "Final Gifts". It has been a tremendous gift to ME to read it. If you can get your hands on a copy, I highly recommend it for you and Nans family. It is written my two hospice nurses and I am sorry I don't have the names in from of me. It has given me such peace.

    I will be thinking of you all.



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