Hi all. This is Nini posting. I am close family friend of the Newbury/Lepiane clan. I feel beyond blessed and honored that they consider me 100% family. For the past 15 years they have welcomed me and loved me like one of their own...with Rene at the forefront of that love and affection. She is simply amazing -- in so many ways! Aren't we all a bit like that with her though? Who among you has met Rene and not INSTANTLY felt drawn to her, loved by her and felt as though you have known her for years?!
I had the privilege of spending some time with Rene yesterday. The moment I saw her I was overwhelmed with who she is. She is amazing and such an important person in so many of our lives! As Kristen mentioned in the previous post, she was quite tired and pensive. She has been on quite an emotional roller coaster. The ups and downs that come with such a heavy diagnosis are taxing. Not to mention having to wait on test results, doctors, news...any news of what the next best step will be. Needless to say, she has handled it with such strength, perseverance and grace.
All of this brings us to sharing the next step for Rene. Late last night, her team of doctors gave her some tough news. The diagnosis of her cancer is not good. The cancer is very advanced and spread throughout her body. Initially they believed that chemotherapy would be able to possibly help kick this cancer into remission. However the latest test results have shown them that while chemo may extend her life, it may not extend it for much longer than if she were to forego chemotherapy treatment.
If you know anything about chemotherapy, you know that it basically poisons the cells in the body -- both good and bad in hopes of killing off the bad cancer cells. This makes the body extremely weak, fragile, and prone to sickness and/or infection, not to mention the possible side effects that Kristen laid out in this previous post.
With all of this news on the table, Rene has weighed her options, with full clarity of mind and heart. While neither of these options are ideal, Rene has decided that she will not move forward with chemotherapy. Since it has been made clear to her that the chemo will not necessarily prolong her life, she wants to live her life to the fullest -- in the best physical, mental, and emotional health she can. And, in order to do that, she wants to be at home, in her own environment, surrounded by family and friends. If she were to do chemotherapy her immune system would be greatly compromised and she wouldn't be able to see her grandchildren, go out to public places, enjoy a good party...all of the things she loves to do.
As soon as she arrives at home (she will be staying with her parents for a while), Hospice will come in and educate Rene (and the family) on how to continue and provide the best self care. They will be available for anything she needs and will help get her set up so she can live life as she wants to -- to the fullest.
There are many mixed emotions swimming around in all of us right now. We are sad that Rene is having to battle this, yet we are encouraged by her fighting spirit. We are hurting because of what may come, but we are thankful for the time we get with her, regardless of how long it may be. To be clear, there is no time line right now. We, along with Rene, are choosing to live every day to it's fullest and for Rene, that is in the comfort of her home, surrounded by all of us, and you, who love her.
Rene is EVER SO GRATEFUL for your love and support. Your prayers, your love, your words, your presence, your time...they have been and will continue to be life-giving for her. She will be heading home, most likely, on Tuesday. That being said, we do ask that you give her some time to rest in the hospital tomorrow and to get settled at home for a day or two. That means, no visiting please. If there is an immediate reason to contact her, please contact the hospital by calling the nurses station and seeing if she is available, or by calling Chris. We need Rene to be as strong as possible to fight this cancer and in order to do so, she needs her rest, especially in the next few days.
We will be updating the blog as often as we can, especially in the next few days to let you know how everything is going and when Rene gets to go home. She is so looking forward to being in a comfortable space, eating what she wants to, and moving forward with her life. She is one amazing woman and she has more amazingness to give!
Please continue to keep Rene, and her family in your thoughts and prayers. She has a long road ahead, but with your love and support she will travel it well.