Ruth Heide update

Dear Valley residents and friends,

Although it may seem like I have dropped off the face of the earth, I am just dangling on the edge of it. Keith asked me to share an update with you on how things are going with me. I know Ruthie Brown has also shared some updates through the past months as well.

I cannot thank all of you enough for your encouragement and support since my pancreatic cancer diagnosis. I am still overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and generous support and feel that I have not adequately thanked all of you who shared so much with me. Thank you!

Thank you for your prayers. I know God is at work in this and His will is what I seek, whether it is healing now or in heaven. I am good with whatever His answer is.

I have lost a bit more weight but am grateful to still have a decent appetite, and I am grateful that although I do have pain, it is not too terrible. The cancer continues to progress, but it is not advancing as fast as it could be. I continue to see Dr. Cooper here in Alamosa on a monthly basis.

I chose not to go the chemo route, because it would not have been effective with my cancer and would have just made me more miserable. I have chosen to cherish the time I have with those I love and have been grateful to have had time to do that in the past few months. This was especially meaningful to me as my mother’s health rapidly declined this summer. My sweet mother and best friend, Teresa Sales, died on August 28 at home, where she had wanted to be at the end. Her cancer had progressed and spread. She fought a tough battle to the end but rests now until the resurrection when I look forward to a wonderful reunion with her.

That has been one of the odd “gifts” of this cancer – time, perhaps not time in the long run but time now when I needed it to spend with my mother. I am grateful for each precious moment.

I have been spending a great deal of time with family and now am back and forth from Alamosa to Pueblo, where my father still lives, helping with what I can. I still live here in Alamosa but plan to move to my little sister’s place in the Littleton area at some point.

Two days after my mother died I had a medical emergency with a kidney stone, which had to be smashed. So, for a time, I had matching pain on both sides of my abdomen, but that at least was treatable.

I appreciate the advice many folks have shared with me on cancer treatment options and respectfully accepted information on each. It has been a bit overwhelming, with advice ranging from bee sting acupuncture to cannabis. I hope that those who have shared the information about where I should go and what I should do will also respect my decisions on what I do or do not do with the information. The last thing a person who is terminally ill, chronically ill or ill in any way needs is the burden of guilt from folks who think they have not done what they should have to be well.

I have also learned through this to listen more attentively to what people who are sick are saying. It always aggravated my mother to hear “you look good” when she just answered someone’s question to how she was with, “not so well today.” She did not look good. She was very sick and thin and frail. It was almost like that response “you look good” was a dismissal of what she was actually feeling. We all need to listen more carefully and respond accordingly. I suppose if people tell me I look good, maybe it’s because I really needed to lose 60 pounds! I wouldn’t recommend the cancer diet, however.

Once again, thank you for your caring, thoughtfulness, generosity, prayers and encouragement. I am privileged to know so many wonderful people in this Valley and am grateful for having each of you in my life!

Whatever the future holds for each of us, I pray that we will enjoy a reunion, if not here, in heaven. That will be the best party ever, with no good-byes!

Ruth Heide