Personal Stories

Update On My Sister, Lori…

Hey friends and family!

I’m so sorry that I haven’t been posting on the blog. I’ve done all of my updates on Facebook since it’s much quicker to do…but I realize many of you don’t have Facebook. So below are some of the posts I’ve made over the past 3 weeks…as I’ve been stateside caring for my sister.

If you’ve noticed some significant delays in my response time to your emails, texts, voxes, messages, etc… it’s simply because I’m burning the candle at both ends and I’m exhausted. Simply exhausted.

I’ve tried to find words for this post but I just don’t have any. My heart is heavy and my body just aches with each breath.

I took an emergency flight out of Haiti yesterday so that I could be with my sister. I received the news around 11am that she was being rushed to the hospital. MAF immediately came to pick me up… even through the pouring rain.

God aligned every flight and detail. I landed in Louisville at 12:30am. I rented a car and arrived in Batavia at 3am this morning.

Jose & the kids will hopefully fly out this weekend.

Please PRAY
-that God will continue to align flights out for my husband and children
-for wisdom for doctors
-for Cleveland/Pittsburgh to have more options
-for a peace that passes all our understanding
-for a calmness to reign within us during this uncertain time
-for the unrelenting presence of the Lord

I don’t like these kinds of posts…. I hate typing through tears. I’ve seen God move hurricanes that were destined to destroy the Mole…. I’ve seen Him do things I wouldn’t believe had I not seen it myself.

We need a God-sized miracle… and I know the Great I Am…and I know He can. Please join us in prayer.

**

I have read over each comment, prayer, text, email, and message many times. I cannot thank you all enough for your encouragement, love, prayers, and hope that’s been spoken over our family.

When God’s people come together it’s a magical and blessed sight. It reminds us that we aren’t alone…even though there are times where we feel so alone.

They say “no news is good news”…. but sometimes “no news is simply no news”.

My family arrived safely Sunday night and they all came to visit my sister yesterday. Thank you for your prayers for their safe arrival.

The girls are spending the week here in Ohio with us and the boys will stay in Ky with my dad/Jose. This way we don’t overwhelm my sister.

Here’s where we are…. my sister’s bilirubin count needs to come down low enough so that she can do a liver resection and we can cut out the cancer. In order for this to happen – her next PET scan needs to show that the cancer hasn’t advanced anywhere else. IF her numbers come down and her cancer doesn’t advance…. our next move will be to go to Cleveland Clinic for this surgery.

I’m not going to lie…. there are moments where we are overcome with fear & anxiety as the battle seems so much bigger than us.

And yet there are other times where she’s so strong, the presence of God is so palpable, the hope we feel is so untouchable, and we are at total peace that her healing will happen here on earth.

Sometimes those moments happen within hours of each other. Her outcome seems to change daily based off her bloodwork and tests.

So we wait…. we pray…. we make memories….we laugh…. we cry… we laugh some more… and we ask God to bring down His healing power like only He can!

**

This is Jody monitoring Lori’s phone again today. Scott & I have been reading her the comments, texts, and messages sent over the past several days. We have ALL shed countless tears as our hearts overflow from your sweet and tender words.

Her appointment is at 11am. Please pray for wisdom, peace, courage, and viable options as we fight to save my sister’s life.

— at Cleveland Clinic – Taussig Cancer Center.

**

Update from Jody:

We had an excellent experience here in Cleveland. Lori is not a candidate for any type of transplant/surgery/resection. Though that was hard to hear…we have hope that the immunotherapy will be a viable option with many positive results reported already. She will begin this tomorrow.

Lori’s bilirubin count has continued to climb and unfortunately, one of the side effects of that is a loss in mental function. Lori’s memory & speech has been affected by this.

The doctors said there are a few meds we can try to help her regain some of that – or even if we can lower the number down a few points- she would be back to normal. It’s difficult to see her this way…though her sarcastic humor is totally intact! She still keeps us laughing quite a bit.

She’s getting IV’s right now to help dilute the bilirubin & we’ve added a drainage bag to help filter out the excess too. Hopefully, these small interventions will bring the numbers down enough that she can focus more on what’s happening around her.

We still need your prayers that we aren’t too late for the immunotherapy to work. She will need to take it for several months. Lori is desperate to be a part of her ministry. She is passionate about the children in her programs and she doesn’t want to spend whatever time she still has stuck in a bed….unaware of what’s going on around her.

Our God is a BIG God and we still need that God-sized miracle.

We believe He can and will do it!

Please continue to lift up my sweet sister in your daily prayers.

— at Cleveland Clinic – Taussig Cancer Center.

**

I was just 9 years old the first time a baby died in my arms from wet malnutrition. Her mom was so struck with grief that she couldn’t find the strength to hold her baby. So I held her close, and with tears streaming down my face, I sang her into heaven.

It was in that moment that God placed a calling to medical ministry deep within my soul. I graduated high school in 3 years just so I could get a jump start in college and open my pediatric clinic in Haiti a year sooner.

I followed around medical teams – sewing up machete cuts at 12 years old & delivering babies in huts when I was 16.

I never dreamed that this calling would also lead me to care for my own sister…30 years later.

Lori has a serious infection that requires IV antibiotics & other various meds. Her liver stents have to be flushed & cared for and she’s got several daily dressing changes.

Today Home Health turned all of that care over to me. She will still go weekly for chemo/immunotherapy but otherwise, we are trying to do all her medical care at home.

It’s hard to process my feelings…to watch my sharp & smart sister unable to care for herself….not knowing where she is or what is happening around her. She requires 24-hour care now.

Her cognitive functions should resolve once the infection and bilirubin are under control…but that doesn’t necessarily ease the pain right now.

The next few weeks are critical as we wait for the new treatments to work. Please keep us in your prayers! We are still believing that God will make a way….even when there seems to be no way.

***
From My Sister…

Friends and Family,

I have been shocked and overwhelmed by the love you have shown me these past two weeks. My sister has been taking care of all my medical needs and working full time as my personal nurse. My mom has been taking care of cooking, cleaning, and praying. She reads scripture over me daily and reminds me of God’s promises. Scott continues to be the amazing man that I have always bragged about and is burning the candle at both ends as he tries to fill in the gaps.

I am still unable to write on my own or check facebook/emails. Unfortunately, that means that some of our correspondence is falling through the cracks. Please contact Scott for any important/urgent needs.

Today was a good day. My labs are FINALLY turning in the right direction. Tomorrow will be my second immunotherapy/chemo treatment. I am still battling an infection which is keeping my mind fuzzy. Unfortunately, I can’t have visitors until I get this infection under control.

We do believe and see that God is moving. I am hopeful that one day I really will conquer this cancer as we have much to do for the children and the Kingdom. Keep the faith, keep believing, and keep praying.

Love,
Lori Conley

**
We appreciate your continued prayers during this difficult time. Believing God is good…even though this doesn’t feel good at all. 

Categories: Personal Stories

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s