Sandy Beardsley
Living with a Brain Tumor

July 2006
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Sacred Journey…
Filed under: General
Posted by: Dan @ 2:31 pm

Sandy, with my insistence (and a strong suggestion from the hospice nurse) is trying to pace herself and conserve strength. It doesn’t take much to wipe her out physically and emotionally — a short walk down our road, a visit from a friend, a rough night of sleep. But she is learning to nap, not an easy thing for her. Since she is having difficulty tracking days of the week and time of day, a nap can really throw her off and be disorienting. We know that a lot of people want to visit Sandy, but we are having to make visits short and far-between. They are just too exhausting for Sandy right now. You know how she is - wanting to help others feel better before she makes herself feel better. So please continue to honor the “Do Not Disturb” sign when it’s up.  We are staying close to home and hospice nurses, but Sandy, Cameron and I (and our two dogs) are going to the coast next week for some ocean therapy.

Cameron and Sandy

And, dear friends, we had some thoughts we wanted to share with you as this journey continues. Recently, many folks who have just found out about Sandy’s prognosis have become panicked and desperate to help. People have pushed their religious / spiritual beliefs on us, or insisted we try this or that cancer cure recipe concoction, or told us how we should handle this situation. We realize that this all comes from love and concern, and with the best intentions, but we don’t need to be diverted or spend energy defending our choices.

Sandy was diagnosed in 1999 with a terminal illness - we are not rookies at this. We were told in 1999 that what has transpired in the past few months would happen someday, so it is not a surprise that it has. We have researched this disease extensively and Sandy has had some of the best possible medical care available. She is a 7-year survivor — seven years we would not have had together otherwise.

Sandy wants you to know that this sacred journey, which we decided to openly share with you, has some parts that cannot be shared. There is good, bad and ugly to this and to make it through this we must pace ourselves and have some boundaries respected. Please understand this — we don’t want any suggestions for how to cure Sandy’s brain tumor. There is no known cure for this type of cancer, and hers is very aggressive. Her best treatment alternatives have been used. Our knowledge has given us power, so don’t undermine our decisions. This part of the journey is so impossibly difficult enough. Having to hear alternatives at this point, however well intentioned, only does us harm. She is only getting treatment and medicines now to keep her quality of life as good as possible for as long as possible. But just because treatment has stopped… hope doesn’t. We are living life and are excited about and anticipating what’s to come.

Because we do not belong to an organized church, some of you may think our spiritual strength is lacking. The opposite is true. Our spirituality has been strengthened by this cancer journey. Sandy and I have a deep spiritual faith and we pray regularly. Right now we are praying for the strengtrh and peace to enjoy this journey. And we appreciate the power of all your prayers - keep them coming. But don’t ask us to worship your God or adapt our lives to your spiritual beliefs or methods.

We are sharing this journey openly for two reasons — we knew it would help us, and we hoped others could learn from it. As we strive to continue finding peace, strength and balance these difficult days… we hope you will too.  “Life is an hourglass glued to the table…”  Carpe Diem.

Thanks again for all the love and support - in its many tangible and intangible ways (and some edible ways!)