It has been a busy Fall, so much has changed. I apologize, our updates have been slow as we try to keep up.
The Archambault Family has coped with a lot over the past year.
How amazing it is that our strength continues to shine through.
Of course, we could not do it without the love and support from family and friends.
Thank you all, sincerely, for the gathered strength to continue on.
Ollie sends a message:
HAPPY HOLIDAYS ~ 2019 ~ FROM OLLIE
WHAT A JOURNEY the past year has been, with many highs and lows. One year since my last chemo, going to Nebraska for my sister Pearl to be my caregiver... The short-term plan was to stay for 3 months, which has now become 11 months. There is good news --> my last 2 checkups show I am CANCER FREE! I still have a small abdominal wound from the 2018 surgery, which I continue to recover from, it is almost healed!
If all goes well, I plan to be "healed" and living independently in just a couple more weeks!
Ollie's journey is miraculous.
I received the diagnosis of Peritoneal Cancer from Casa Grande Medical on April 2, 2018. MD Anderson in Gilbert, AZ confirmed my diagnosis, implementing the treatment plan involving 6 rounds of chemo, with a surgery in the middle. Following complications involving the surgery, I fought hard to survive and finish the last 3 rounds of chemo. Eventually, I became stable enough to continue my healing journey in Nebraska (in January 2019). I "joined" the Providence Medical Center at Wayne NE, continuing to attend outpatient services for OT & PT, Speech and Swallow therapy, along with IV infusions (as I battled infections) for 6 months. (With help from the Nebraska Med. Center in Omaha, NE, and the coordination of services with Wayne, I was able to avoid the drive to Omaha for the infusions I was receiving daily for 7 days a week.) I also had weekly wound care, acupuncture and weekly reflexology and massage- the alternative treatments helped greatly in my recovery! I plan to continue acupuncture, and reflexology and massage upon my return home- I am going to live and celebrate my recovery!
THANK YOU TO ALL MY CAREGIVERS and a SPECIAL THANKS TO MY SISTER PEARL WHO SHARED HER HOME WITH ME, SACRIFICING HER TIME AND ENERGY TO CARE FOR ME!
Pearl has put so many miles on her car and body that I probably owe her a new car! Although I can't fix her body, I will say this has been a special time for us.
The hardest and saddest part of this year’s journey has been my lack of ability to be at home when John was so ill. He was going through dialysis and it was very hard on him and the family. My daughter, Margaret, was there to care for John in my absence, which we are all grateful for; she took her dad to his medical appointments, hospital visits, rehab, etc... and kept the home-front operating. My son, Eric, and his family, along with our grandchildren, assisted as well.
There is no doubt that John greatly loves his family, and enjoyed visiting with anyone around a pot of coffee.
On October 5th, I made an emergency trip to AZ to see him. On October 6th, the hospital chaplain and our children and grandchildren met with us so we could renew our wedding vows for our 50th anniversary. John and I were preparing to renew our vows on our anniversary, December 20th, with the plan I would be home to stay.
John passed away on October 7, 2019.
On October 9th, after John's passing, I returned to Omaha to continue my wound care. On November 23, my siblings and I (all 7 of us) had a reunion and celebrated my "Cancer Free" status, all the October, November, and December birthdays, and Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a special treat for all 7 of us to be together twice this year. Another blessing in the midst of all that has happened.
Soon, I will be returning home! I will be back in Arizona on December 14th.
My first plan is to Celebrate John's Life.
A celebration for John will be hosted on December 21st at Trinity Baptist Church in Casa Grande, AZ at 10:00 a.m.
Interment will be at the National Cemetery, Cave Creek, AZ on December 23.
If you would like to attend, please contact any of the family.
John, as well as the rest of us, would love to have you.
I cannot help but leave a final comment on enjoying the seasons throughout my journey in Nebraska. The change from snow in January, flooding in the spring and summer (some farms and roads are still damaged from the flooding), the greens of summer, the golds, oranges, reds and browns of fall, harvesting the beans and corn, and now, the snow, rain, sleet and icy roads- has brought back many childhood memories. Still, I’m ready for Arizona's sun and rain.
As Thanksgiving and Christmas are a time of giving thanks, I am thankful for all the prayers, cards, calls, words of encouragement and the wonderful care I have received on this journey. I count my blessings each and every day and pray for all my family and friends daily.
Merry Christmas and Happy 2020!
See you all very soon!