By the time she sought treatment, and breast cancer was officially diagnosed in September 2011, the cancer had already metastasized into her bones and several large tumors had formed in her back. The prognosis was not good.
What followed was a battle. Judy had a mastectomy, and started hormone treatments, radiation, and rounds of chemo.
In February of 2012, we were very excited to get a report from the doctor saying that a large grapefruit-sized tumor in her lower back had shrunk to the size of a quarter, and the other tumors were gone. The following May she had another good blood test, and the doctor said her cancer was dormant.
In 2013, she had a major surgery on her carotid artery. The cancer became active again, and started growing. Pain was her constant companion, and between the cancer and the Rheumatoid Arthritis she has had since her 30's, her mobility was severely limited. She had several strokes, and spent more time in the hospital. Through all of this, she continued to hold on to her faith in God, and trust that He was in control.
Before Christmas, she returned to the hospital. They wanted to focus on managing her pain before the next round of chemo. She was released to a rehab facility after the new year, but last week they moved her back to the hospital and placed her in Hospice care. She is not expected to live much longer.
After her initial diagnosis, Judy shared her story on my blog. She wanted to encourage all women to have a mammogram, and to not let fear hold them back from seeking answers and treatment when they knew something was wrong. She was overwhelmed and thankful for all of the support from the online community after she shared her story and as she went through her mastectomy.
|Thomas and his mom.|
And I am asking for your prayers - for God's will, and that He will bring her through this valley with peace. We know that soon she will be with the Lord, but there is still much grief for those of us who love her and are left behind.
Judy Flaningam went to be with the Lord on Monday afternoon, January 13, 2014. She was surrounded by friends and family, and holding the hand of her beloved husband Jim as she passed.