Facing Mesothelioma One Journal Entry at a Time: Part Seven

Tara DeAugustinis

Tara DeAugustinis has been battling pleural mesothelioma since diagnosed in early 2016 at the age of 45. She and her husband, Rich, have maintained a personal website documenting her journey with the disease via journal entries, and they have decided to share their story with the mesothelioma community. To read part six of this story, click here.

Extending the Meal Train
Journal entry by Rich DeAugustinis — 10/20/2016

Tara, Aubrey and I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the many family members, friends and colleagues that have participated in our meal train over the last couple months. It has really been an extraordinary blessing. After Tara’s surgery, it was such a relief not to worry about meal planning and preparation a few nights a week. And since we don’t eat a whole lot, the leftovers fed us a few more nights each week. It really has been terrific, and enabled me to wholly focus on Tara’s care and well-being.

Tara will be continuing her radiation treatments through Thanksgiving week. As a result, we expect the next couple months to remain challenging as she deals with the side effects. After she finishes, it will take 2-3 more weeks to fully recover. Given that, we plan to extend the meal train through Friday, Dec 9th. After that, we are hoping that Tara is well enough to take a trip to New York City in mid-December to visit Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to begin the next phase in her treatment (more on that later…).

Again, our heartfelt thanks to those that have helped to feed us over the last few months, and to those that will in the weeks to come. We are truly humbled by your love, prayers and support. May God continue to bless each and every one of you.

Love in Christ,

Rich

Two Days to Go!
Journal entry by Rich DeAugustinis — 11/14/2016

Just a quick update on Tara this Monday morning… we are very excited this week because she has TWO DAYS LEFT of radiation treatments! Today and tomorrow… and then that’s it! We are so glad that this chapter is coming to a close. Radiation, while not as bad as we expected, was still very tough on Tara and our family. After it’s over, her body can begin fully recovering from the surgery and the assault it received from the radiation.

We aren’t out of the woods yet, though. As I mentioned post surgery, there is still mesothelioma left in Tara’s body. A small amount in a few places, but still there nonetheless. We will be moving into a new phase of treatment late this year and early next to eradicate the rest of it. I will share more on that later this week or weekend.

For now, please continue to pray for Tara:  no side effects from the remaining radiation, minimal pain, and continued healing of her body from the surgery and radiation. I, for one, would love to see the amazing pace of healing that we saw in the weeks following the surgery. We are so thankful for your continued thoughts, prayers and support for our family. We feel it every single day, and covet every single prayer.

More on next steps later this week. May you and your families have a blessed week!

Rich

Update and Prayer Request
Journal entry by Rich DeAugustinis — 12/14/2016

Tomorrow will be 4 weeks since Tara finished up radiation treatments at Winship Cancer Institute. She has been recovering since, and is doing better each day. The effects of the radiation continue for 4-6 weeks after the end of treatment, but now that we are a month out, her side effects continue to wane. She is stronger and has more energy each day, and is getting back to some normalcy. She continues to recover from the surgery in late August, and now that the radiation is done, her recovery should accelerate. The pain from the surgery and radiation continues, but should moderate and improve in the coming weeks and months (and is well controlled with pain meds). Her continued recovery is an answer to many prayers, ours and yours. We are so thankful for God’s grace as she continues to recover… thank you Lord!

This Thursday morning, she goes in for a PET scan. This is her first full scan since before surgery, and will give us an update on the impact of the surgery and radiation to address her mesothelioma. As you recall, the EPP surgery removed 99% of the cancer from her body. The aim of the radiation was to burn away the rest. Our sincere hope and prayer is that this scan will show complete elimination of the rest of the cancer. Next Tuesday, we will be back at Winship for appointments with her surgeon and radiation oncologist, and will get the results of the PET scan. More on that next week.

We are gearing up for a busy Christmas break including time with family and friends, celebrating the birth of our Savior and a trip up to New York City! We will be seeing a few shows on Broadway, doing some tours, enjoying some great NYC restaurants and generally enjoying each other’s company and our first family vacation since the beginning of this journey.

We are so thankful for the prayers of so many over the last 9 months. We know that the Lord hears every single one of them, and accordingly we covet each and every time you intercede on Tara and our family’s behalf. Prayer is real, and works! Please join us in continuing to pray for the following:

– For Tara’s continued healing from surgery and radiation
– For a completely clean PET scan, for the radiation to have been completely effective, erasing all traces of the mesothelioma in Tara
– For strength, endurance, comfort and relief from pain as Tara continues to recover in the weeks and months ahead
– For our family to continue to love and support each other through this journey, in and by His strength
– For God to continue to use this journey as a mighty testimony for others, engaging the hearts and minds with His gospel truth

We will continue to keep our eyes above the waves, on Him, resting in his peace that transcends understanding. Your prayers help us do so. Thank you for all of your love and support! God bless!

— Rich

Continue reading Tara’s story here: Facing Mesothelioma One Journal Entry at a Time: Part Eight

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