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Melissa Browning - Journal

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Posted 2021-08-08T17:12:00Z

It's Been Four Months

It's been four months since Melissa left us, and I wanted to give you all an update on what's been going on with our family.

The pain of loss, the pivot to single-parenting, and a dozen other significant life changes have made this the toughest four months of my life. I lost my father when I was five, my mom when I was 28, and a few other family members along the way. Many of those losses were life-altering for me. This is another one of those moments. But the grief that comes with losing your soulmate of 21+ years is difficult to put into words. I know this pain will never go away, yet it will become more bearable over time.[...]

Posted 2021-04-15T13:08:15Z

Joy in the Midst of a Fight

A week ago today I lost my best friend. Melissa was my everything. To our family, she was the best mom, daughter, sister, and aunt. To others, she was an inspirational friend, teacher, mentor, or colleague. Melissa was many things to a whole lot of people. Over the last year, the fight against cancer took much of her time, but she did not let cancer define her. As one friend put it, "cancer may have killed her body, but it did not kill her spirit." Melissa lived a full life, and over the last year, that was no exception. Below are a few highlights from the past year.[...]

Posted 2021-04-08T11:52:00Z

The Next Adventure

Melissa passed away this morning at 5am. While we are grief-struck by this loss, we know that she is on her next great adventure.

Thank you all for the outpouring of support and prayers. We will be in touch soon with memorial service details.[...]

Posted 2021-04-08T02:12:41Z

Wednesday Evening Update

The past few days have been heavy for our family. Melissa's health has been in decline since she returned home last Thursday. Today, we were told by the hospice doctor that she has "hours to days" remaining. Over the past few days she has been surrounded by family, friends, laughter, and tears. Melissa is not complaining of pain and has been mostly sleeping over the past 24 hours.[...]

Posted 2021-04-02T13:07:22Z

Update

My heart aches as I write this update.

Tuesday evening Melissa began having hallucinations and delirium, and by Wednesday morning it was severe enough to take her to the hospital. They discovered that the myeloma is spreading enough to cause her kidneys to start shutting down. Hallucinations/delirium is one of the side effects of kidney dysfunction. After hours of consultation with her physicians, we concluded that she has no treatment options left. Thursday afternoon we checked out of the hospital and are now at home.[...]

Posted 2021-03-29T14:34:08Z

3 weeks to live...

Hi friends - I'm writing this quick update because I desperately need your prayers. In one way, I'd rather write this later after I have more information and more of a plan to go forward, but time is running out and I need you to pray with me now. [...]

Posted 2021-03-22T14:52:00Z

Clinical Trials, Drugs and those silly platelets

Hi friends! I wanted to take a quick second to update you on my current treatment. As you all know, I was really hoping my platelets would be within range to allow me to take part in a clinical trial. Due to having a stem cell transplant and a fairly nasty chemo back-to-back, this didn't happen. In fact, multiple myeloma causes your disease to progress in a way that reduces platelets. My platelets needed to be at 75K for one set of criteria but they were only at 40k. Even with a new set of criteria (with my disease progressing) my platelets weren't high enough because the myeloma was lowering them. My last labs showed my platelets at close to 25k so for now, the clinical trial is not an option. The good news is there are other clinical trials and treatment options available so we will be looking into these after this next round of treatment when I'm a bit more stable. [...]

Posted 2021-02-18T22:31:00Z

36 Hours of Uncertainty

February 12th was our last update, and I've struggled to put into words the events and emotions that have unfolded since. Melissa came home Friday night, exhausted, but on the upswing. She still struggled to speak due to the mouth sores, but she was definitely glad to be home! Her chemo was super difficult and certainly the most intense chemo she's experienced on this journey. As most of you know, one of the complications from this chemo was a seizure and PRES (Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome) which caused a portion of her brain to swell and scared us quite a bit.[...]