Saturday, October 9, 2010

Starting a New Life....The Last Entry.

It's been a while since I updated this blog. So much has happened, it's almost overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. I do need to explain this much...this will be the last entry for this blog. When I started "Never Gonna Break My Faith", it was a way to keep our friends and family updated about Jeff's progress and what we believed would eventually be his story of overcoming the odds and beating his cancer.

After Jeff died, this blog morphed into a way for me to express my deep sadness and heartbreak, but also our gratitude for all the goodness we encountered. The gratitude grew into an idea of how we could create an Urgent Care Cancer Clinic to help those struggling with the side effects of cancer drugs and other health issues that were a direct result of the cancer. Things like fevers, infected PIC lines, blood transfusions, oxygen level checks, severe pain and nausea, rashes, bowel issues...the list could go on for days.

We tried to get the hospitals here in town to understand that we needed this clinic, as well as a dedicated ER room that is designed for the needs of cancer patients. The ER and ambulance staff would also be educated about how to handle cancer patients...how tumors could affect blood pressure cuffs, lower lighting and softer voices could help anxiety levels and how special airbeds could alleviate pressure points on sensitive skin that is inflamed from cancer tumors or suffering from severe rashes.

We had visitors from the Siteman 24/7 Cancer Clinic in St. Louis tour a local facility and agree that this idea was necessary and a very real possibility if the hospital could just see past it's self-imposed limits. We thought we were making huge progress. We thought the clinic and the ER room would be a reality.

We were wrong.

It's been a long three years since Jeff was diagnosed and we sat in the surgeon's office and heard the words, "there is nothing else that can be done...you need to get your affairs in order and spend time with your family. You will die from this disease..." I have fought in Jeff's name to right some of the wrongs...I've planted the seeds for an idea that I do believe will happen in time. But it is time I remove myself from the picture. There comes a time when a person can become a hindrance to progress. This has never been about me, or getting Jeff's name on a room. This is about doing the right thing to make it better for cancer patients. The single mothers and fathers who want to live to see their children grow-up; the kindergärtner who just wants to play soccer and get to be a first grader; the husband or wife who just want to live to celebrate another year of life with their family.

The medical community here in Springfield, knows what needs to be done, how to do it and what it will take to make a clinic and dedicated ER a reality. There is nothing more I can do. I had a message to deliver and now that my part is over, I have to believe that the right thing will happen.

Jeff and I were witness to so much heart-felt goodness in his journey with cancer and in my journey since his passing. I know without a doubt that there are good people at work to see these ideas come to fruition.

There may be a brick wall in place right now, but if we are diligent and chip away at it with the right tools...find the chinks in the mortar...see the light that is trying to shine through, then we can remove the obstacles--tangible and intangible--and realize the answers have been there all along. It's just time to take a different approach.

Thank you to everyone who supported me in my efforts and gave me the strength and the drive to keep going when I didn't know how I'd move another step. Through this process I have had the great fortune to meet truly gracious and caring people. I have been surrounded by friends that brought a whole new definition to the meaning of friendship and loyalty.

One bright spot before I end this story--we have decided to establish two scholarships in Jeff's honor and memory. Our goal is to help single parents struggling to achieve academic goals, and also to help kids from families that have experienced economic difficulties. Jeff was a big believer in helping single mothers who were trying to improve life for their children. Education is a gift that should be available to all who have a desire to learn and improve their lives. We hope to be a part of the solution.

My love and deepest gratitude to all...

Holly Melton

2 comments:

Sarah said...

Blesssings to you, Holly, as you move forward.

Sheila said...

Holly, Thank you for the HOPE you have given to me and my family. May God Bless you and those precious girls, Always!