Rainclouds and Roses

If you missed my previous post about my mom being under an acorn attack, you can click here.

October 21st, 2021 – Post #21

It’s sometimes hard to know what to say on these updates, because there can be the tendency to swing between everything being roses, which is unrealistic, and coming across like a Ronnie Raincloud. And then, there is the issue of sticking something already painful up on the internet and risking receiving that one comment (out of one hundred other encouraging ones) that feels more like a correction – and makes me want to keep my mouth closed.

Hating to Surrender

A few years ago, I remember playing checkers with a rather wise seven-year-old. He had quite a cache of kings compared to my one and only. Desperate to outrun him, and keep from getting surrounded, my monarch headed for the edge of the board. Etched in my mind is the moment my oponent stated plainly, “Jody, I don’t think you want to get yourself backed into a corner like that.”

I spent the next several minutes maneuvering between the only two spots accessible to me. Completely caught, there wasn’t anything else I could do. I knew there was almost no way I could win, but something in me hated to surrender. There was a tiny glimmer of hope my rival would get distracted, and then I’d slip passed him, but it was highly unlikely. I didn’t want to keep going back and forth like that, but I didn’t want to accept defeat either.

In trying to figure out what to say here, that story came to mind. It seems like a disservice to those who love my mom not to be open and honest about the reality of her position right now. She is backed into a corner. Yes, there are some things she can do to maneuver back and forth for a while, but in the long run it is very unlikely that she is going to get better.

Should My Mom Have a Whipple Surgery?

My mom met with the oncologist today to discuss last week’s CT scans. The tumor has shrunk a small amount, but there is still possible involvement with the main portal vein, which complicates things. The doctor suggests my mom go through two more cycles of chemo (three weeks on, one week off), if she can tolerate it; then have another scan to decide how to proceed from there.

According to him, the only medical option for “a cure” is The Whipple surgery. Because of my mom’s age, the surgeon would want her portal vein to be less compromised than it is now.

More chemo, and then radiation, might reduce the tumor enough to make surgery an option, but her overall health has to be factored in. This is a major surgery – rife with possible complications, and she is already extremely weak and fatigued.

So, I guess “the rose” is the tumor has shrunk some, but there is still quite a bit of “rain” right now and more “clouds” coming.

As I was thinking about what to say in this, and thinking of how weak my mom has become, I was reminded of a time last year when I was discouraged from health problems and didn’t have the strength to tackle my To Do List. I laid down, feeling like the day was a waste, and that I ought to at least be dusting. Watching the ceiling fan swirl dust through the air as the sunlight streaked in, I started piecing together this poem and hope it can somehow bring some sunshine in the midst of this rather gloomy forecast:

“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, But Both To So Much More”

Today I watched a light show

There was glitter everywhere

Sparkles spinning round the room

As they scattered through the air

What looked like fireworks floating

Perhaps tiny bits of gold

Was something rather worthless

No one ever bought nor sold

For it was but dust, but dust

Tiny cast offs in the air

Yet a beam of glorious light

Is what made me stop and stare

On a bed of languishing

With discouragement to bear

‘Twas then my Savior showed me

A sweet answer to my prayer

For my hands are full of dust

All that’s left of what I’ve done

What I sought so hard to hide

Is now dancing in the sun

A picture of His promise

I’ve heard many times before

For dust is what we’re made of

But He always makes us more

Though dust is so unwanted

Bought by neither you nor I

To Him it is so precious

And the reason that He died

It was a good reminder

Of the offer from His Word

That when we give Him ashes

Then a miracle occurs

I’ll trade you for your ashes

And give beauty you will see

Just give me what you’ve ruined

And I’ll show you My Glory

– Jody Susan

Click here to read more on the importance of weather and roses to my mom.

*To read more on my mom’s cancer journey from the beginning, or share it, please click below:


I'm not sure what to say here: I once got second place in a dog-look-alike-contest? I know how to fold a fitted sheet? I'm pretty much a poster child for social backwardness - at least as far as social media is concerned; but I have some stories I think I'm supposed to share and am attempting to do that here, in this space.

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