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 one of this series, click here.
Journal entry by Rich DeAugustinis — 5/5/2016
Just a quick update this morning… Tara is at St. Joseph’s for her second round of chemotherapy today. Please pray for the chemo to have an extraordinary and incredible impact on the cancer and it’s tumors in the weeks ahead. Please also pray for comfort, strength and resilience for Tara in the face of continuing nerve pain. And also for minimal side effects from the chemo in the coming days. Next Friday, she will have another procedure to help with the nerve pain – radiotherapy ablation of her intercostal nerves. This procedure effectively fries them with electricity so they can’t feel pain anymore, and hopefully will significantly blunt the pain that she has been feeling. We are so thankful for all of your love, support and many prayers. We couldn’t get through this trial and journey without it. Our Lord and Savior is sovereign over all, including the circumstances. We take joy and comfort in that. We can indeed do all things through Christ who strengthens us!
Happy Mother’s Day
Journal entry by Tara DeAugustinis — 5/8/2016
This is Tara. I thought it was about time that you heard from me with an update. I want to wish all of you moms out there a very special day. I can tell you that this Mother’s Day has reminded me why I am fighting so hard to beat this cancer. Being a mother is my greatest joy. I fully intend on seeing Aubrey graduate from high school and college. I can’t wait to see her walk down the aisle when she is married. I especially want to spoil my grandchildren rotten! Make no mistake that “I have cancer, cancer does not have me”.
The second Chemo Treatment has been better than the 1st. No major side effects … just tired and sometimes nauseous. I am very grateful. This Friday, I will have a radio frequency ablation procedure that will “kill” some of the nerves that are causing me the most pain. I am hopeful that it works and my pain is greatly reduced. This will be a relief.
I want to thank all of you for your support. I can’t tell you how overwhelming it has been to me and our family to see how many people are praying for us and offering help. You will never know how much this means to us.
My faith is strong and I know that God is in this fight with me. Lately, I have been drawn to Psalm 13. In the first four verses, you find King David in a state of utter despair. I find at times that I am in this state with my cancer fight. However, you can’t miss the last two verses of this psalm.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.
I do put my trust in my loving Savior and I never lose hope because of his salvation. Most of all, I can absolutely continue to praise God (even in my circumstances) because of all the good things He has already done for me in my life. I have full confidence that He will also bring good out of my battle with cancer. Keep praying. I believe in the power of prayer and I know that it surrounds me from all of you.
With much love,
Quick Update (May 16)
Journal entry by Rich DeAugustinis — 5/16/2016
Just wanted to share some GOOD news with everyone and ask for your prayers this week:
– First, Tara has had a relatively good response to the second chemo. Overall, side effects were minimal. We also discovered that she can keep taking the steroid medication that she gets during chemo after it. That medication has helped to minimize her pain quite a bit since the 2nd chemo. She had a really good weekend this past weekend, making it out to dinner on Friday night, out for shopping on Saturday and to church and the club for brunch on Sunday. I know these are small things, but they are a small step back to some normalcy on this long journey — and we are thankful for that.
– Second, Tara’s nerve ablation procedure has been reset for this Wednesday morning. While I will spare you the gory details, this procedure should go a long way towards blunting the nerve pain she has been feeling in her rib cage from the mesothelioma. Please PRAY for Tara this Wednesday, and for the procedure to work incredibly well. Pray for the doctors hands and for a quick and painless recovery. Pray intently and expectantly, interceding with the Lord our Savior.
– Finally, for those interested in donating meals, please check the CaringBridge calendar on the site beginning next week for opportunities to do so.
Once again, we are SO thankful for the many prayers and support. It is truly moving to see the hands and feet of Jesus in action through the body of Christ. We are humbled by your love and grateful for your help. More on Tara later this week after the procedure…
Until then, may God bless you and yours this week,
Going in for Battle!
Journal entry by Tara DeAugustinis — 5/26/2016
Good Morning! This is Tara. Only a quick update to let you know that I am headed in today for my third Chemo session. I think of it as battle #3 in my war against cancer. I am taking God’s angel army in with me. I am ready. I feel good and pray that my blood work looks awesome this morning so that we can hit it with the maximum dose of chemo. I ask for your prayers. Pray that the chemo drugs are doing what they are designed to do. Kill the cancer! Pray that my healthy cells are strong and withstand the ill effects of the chemo drugs. Pray that the side effects are minimal over the next week. I can’t begin to tell you the confidence and peace it gives me to have all of you prayer warriors out there on my side fighting with me! I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support network that God has surrounded me with during this trial. Today, I take one more step toward winning this war against mesothelioma!
It’s that time again!
Journal entry by Tara DeAugustinis — 6/14/2016
Family & Friends,
Sorry that I have not provided an update over the past three weeks. It is that time again. Tomorrow is my 4th chemo treatment. I am half way through my six chemo sessions. I don’t have quite the energy that I have had in the past, but I am mentally ready to do battle again. After this treatment, I will go in for a PET-Scan in about two weeks so that we can see how the chemo treatments have been working. Three weeks ago, at my last chemo session, my oncologist was very pleased with how my right lung sounded. He said that I had airflow through the entire lung, which means the chemo is working. Tonight I am reaching out to all my prayer warriors to pray for the following:
- That my labs come back good tomorrow so that they can give me the maximum dose of chemo drugs.
- That the chemo drugs would do their job and kill those nasty cancer cells.
- That the good cells in my body would be minimally impacted by the chemo drugs.
- That I would experience minimal side effects over the next 3 – 5 days.
- That my faith would remain strong that I would always remember that God is in control of this entire thing and He is lifting me up in His righteous hand.
- That I would continue to believe and feel the peace that is beyond understanding that only comes from Jesus, My Lord and Savior!
- That through all of this I would continue to praise God for all of the good things He has already done for me and know that good will come out of these circumstances.
Keep Rich and Aubrey in your prayers too. They have been hit hard by this as well. They are living it too.
I believe in the power of prayer, so keep them coming. There is nothing too big for our God. My mesothelioma is nothing for Him to cure.
I will plan to give you another update when we know something from the PET-Scan. Until then … Thank you so much for your support. You are the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth. I feel his presence through you.
Continue reading Tara’s story here: Facing Mesothelioma One Journal Entry at a Time: Part Three