Lillian's Progress

For those checking...

Marian flew in today after spending a month in Reno with Lillian. Bennie is caring for her now and Marian will go back as soon as she can.

Lillian has a tough road ahead of her. She has to have chemo AND radiation. She has to have all her teeth pulled. She can only open her mouth a tiny bit. Her jaw is all out of whack from so much surgery and having it broken (in three places, I think) for the surgery. Marian told me this evening that the surgeon could not get her jaw aligned correctly after all he removed. So the oral surgeon will not only remove all her teeth, he will try to straighten out her jaw and get it properly aligned again. After radiation she will no longer have salivary glands.

She is still in quite a bit of pain. She still has the feeding tube. She was moved to a nursing home/rehab facility before Marian left. She will stay there until she has recovered enough to have the oral surgery. The abscess in her neck was a big setback and resulted in a much longer hospital stay than originally expected. The doctor first said she would be there for ten days. She's been in the hospital since May 20. When she is strong enough for oral surgery, she will go back to the hospital from the nursing home.

Hopefully, after that she will be able to go home to her apartment. But then it will be time to begin chemo and radiation.

Marian says the oncologist is a very nice man. She really liked him. He did say that there is no way to know if the cancer has spread at this point. Although it doesn't show up in any other organs, since her vascular system was involved, it could be as yet undetectable but microscopically present elsewhere in her body. That is an unknown for now. We are hoping it did not spread anywhere else.

One thing is for sure. Lillian still has her sense of humor. While they were in the oral surgeon's office (between hospital and rehab), Lillian said to Marian in a serious tone, "Have I told you what the oncologist said to me?"

Marian said she felt scared that Lillian was about to give her bad news. She said, "No. Tell me."

Lillian said, "You need to sit down."

Marian thought to herself; oh, no.

Lillian said, "Oh, I'll tell you later."

Marian said, "No, please tell me now." Her heart was in her throat.

And Lillian replied,
"The oncologist said...'Your mother is a real looker.'"


That is the Howerton sense of humor and I told Marian, "That sounds like every one of your kids and, you know, you have to take at least partial responsibility." : ) Honestly, that could have been any one of the five of them. They all love those "gotcha" moments. But so does Marian!

It was hard for Marian to leave, but she did need to come home for at least a while. It sounds like Lillian is in good hands. Marian said Bennie was so sweet and caring. I think he is going to take real good care of her. It hurts my heart just thinking about all that is ahead of Lillian. It's not going to be easy. But I'm thankful she is such a fighter and she does have a great sense of humor.


Celeste Maia said…
Oh what a story of a very brave woman with a great sense of humor and an even greater family! My prayers are with her.
Staci Bruce said…
Thank you so much for the update. It takes my breath away thinking of what she has ahead of her, and yes she is a fighter! All my love and prayers for all the Howertons!
love Staci
Anonymous said…
Thank you for posting my progress for the loving people who have been praying for me. I appreciate all your prayers and good thoughts. I am a roller coaster. Home since July 18th. I have an RN visit me one a week to check my PIIC line (the permanent IV network) inserted into my upper/inner arm --real handy if an emergency happens. No poking for veins to get a life line going. Just screw the bulbs into a slot.
I have had my teeth extracted and healed from that. I visit a dentist for impressions today. I can't do much, still weak...still very woozy. I have to force myself to eat. Calories help heal. I have a small infection going on near where the large one was. My doctor casually put me on an antibiotic when I visited his office and cleaned out a chunk of scab and other goo draining from the incision line. It's so sad and I hate pain but I have faith the the Lord wants me here. I am all for that for many reasons and not for my own reasons either. I start chemo and radiation Aug 3rd....I can't wait to read Shari's book. The title alone is provocative. It so true that so many young minds become strangled, hoodwinked, kidnapped while young, tying to find their niche in spirituality. Her book should hit alot of hearts...cannot wait. I'm battin for you sis.