LET'S HOPE FOR A BETTER NEW YEAR--CATCH UP NEWS!
Well, it has been almost three months now since I have added to the blog and I finally feel well enough to catch everyone up on what has been happening in the whirlwind of time.
Most of the year since getting back from furlough in mid-February I have not been feeling well and I went through having an ulcer, having H. Pyloric, resistant H. Pyloric and then finally the end of October (27th) showed a fast-growing liver mass.
Through it all I worked 6 hours in the morning and then went home and slept 3 hours most afternoon. I also lost my appetite and could not eat much, so had not energy. I was not having direct patient care due to COVID so preparing the staff for working without me!
They opened the boarders to fly on October 1 so when all 3 of my doctors said to go to the USA as soon as possible, I had a liver biopsy on 3rd of November and got on the plane the next day to the US. We had to have a negative COVID test to fly out within 72 hours.
I flew from Harare to Johannesburg, SA. I had planned to meet Michael (Major’s son) at the airport, but they were on full COVID lockdown and I could not go outside, and he could not get in so we could only text. No stores, food places or anything was open. I had a 7 hour wait! Then flew on to London where I had only a couple hours wait. Again, no shops, food places or anything but departing passenger guests were around. Even lounges were closed. It was funny to get your food on the airplane with a linen serviette and they put your boxed food on top with everything individually packaged. Luckily, I just slept and drank water.
Finally, 36 hours I arrived in San Francisco and was picked up by nephew and wife, Marc and Derekca and taken straight to sister Sylvia’s house. My new home!
I spent the next month in a daze with scans, blood work, in the hospital 3 days because my urinary stent stopped working, IV antibiotics I had to go out for everyday for 2 weeks, and just sleeping a lot and not eating.
I met several times by Zoom with my oncologist and planned my treatment. With COVID at such high levels here in the US, I could not have visitors or go out at all, so it was like I was in Zimbabwe still! No shopping, no lunches or dinner out, what a strange world we live in!
I was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma with metastasis to the liver, Stage 4. This is bile duct cancer.
We had Thanksgiving with just the 9 of us immediate family. It was a great feast but unfortunately I wasn't eating so enjoyed bites.
On December 18, I had my first of 3 chemo sessions. It took 8 hours and I watched 2 movies and slept and enjoyed the heated massage chair.
Sylvia was busy putting putting up 2 Christmas trees and decorations as I watched. She bought a new tree and decorated it and put it next to the TV in the family room so I could enjoy it where I spend most of the day.
I felt well for 2 days then crashed and felt very lethargic and just did not feel well. After 5 days I started doing small walks and gradually got better. Not many side effects and no vomiting or nausea, so feel good about that. The last few days I am much better. Yesterday I felt much better than I have in months, cleaning my room, office, doing a load of laundry and cooking some dinner. I have not done that since March!
Last night (2nd of January) we had our family Christmas for 9 of us and opening gifts. All of us COVID free and thankful for all God has done for us in the past year. We pray for 2021 to be a great year for all of you!
News from Zimbabwe is good with a great rainy season going on. The hospital work continues in the capable hands of our 3 doctors. COVID 2nd wave has hit and has led to more deaths. Boarders maybe closed again soon and there is strict mask and curfew policy. Pray for protection for our staff particularly.
Major could not get out as the US embassies throughout the world have not been issuing visitor visas. We hope things improve as the year goes on so he can come and visit. In the meantime, we talk 3+ times a week on What’s App, he is busy farming on weekends, and keeping the hospital going.
We are thankful for our faithful supporters and for our churches who are lifting me up in prayer and finances during these difficult times.
Still unsure how long I will be here in the US for treatment, but I have made a commitment to stay until my oncologist releases me since this treatment is not available in Zimbabwe and especially now with travel so difficult.
Please continue to pray for me, the work in Zimbabwe, for COVID, and for our staff and hospital. So many have called and sent cards and lots of encouragement. It is so special. You can reach me at P.O. Box 714 Sebastopol, CA. 95473-0714