Thursday, October 9, 2014


Dearest Friends & Family,

How to put this day into words?

I don´t often do a ¨medical post¨; I usually keep it in The Latest page.  However, these last 2 days are too important to not post them...

Two nights ago, Jenna woke me up in intense pain.  I took her to the ER and they gave her pain meds and admitted her.  I was so disappointed because we were to go that next morning to Budwig Center (the alternative therapies center) and it seemed like we were really getting somewhere little by little.  But in the middle of the night, where can you go??  God knows our situation and He is in control.

The next day things began to unravel a little at a time...the critical piece of managing her pain is being resolved and she has been sleeping a lot, bits at a time.  I can´t tell you how wonderful it was to see her sleep!  It made me so happy.  In the late afternoon her oncologist came by and ordered a sonogram and they planned to drain both her J-tube and more from her abdomen if it´s necessary. Then the GI Dr that had helped us out last Thurs/Fri and did her paracentesis came by to see her and is ordering another med to stimulate her GI system.

This Dr (whom we like a lot) also commented that she looked jaundiced and I had already been in touch with her Endocrinologist about her most recent bloodwork which is showing that her liver is really overworked.  While the Endocrinologist says it´s common in patients with TPN (nutrition by vein) like Jenna, I still don´t like it and want to talk that over with her.  After her sonogram in the endoscopy area by Dr. Hernandez (the GI Dr), he determined there was not much  ¨free¨ liquid in her abdomen and that it was not necessary to do another paracentesis.  Phew!  He sent us down to Radiology to do a more extensive  sonogram of her abdomen and especially her liver.  We finished there about 9pm.  

Dr. Hernandez came out to speak with Dani and I and spoke very seriously about her condition.  He believes that the cancer has potentially spread to her liver, increasing her pain, distention and liver counts.  It was a discouraging conversation even though he delivered it compassionately.

I prayed over Dani before she left for home that God would guard our minds & hearts from fear, that we would have sweet trust in a loving God and that He would perfectly complete His plan birthed in goodness.  Dani is such a strength to me in Bruce´s absence.  

Today the oncologist wanted to talk with me in his office.  We all know what that means - not good. He said her situation is very complex and desperate.  She is very critical.  In spite of the PET scan and bloodwork for tumor levels being negative, the biopsy of the liquid taken from her abdomen came back positive.  The sky-high liver counts are due, they believe, to tumors.  Oh how I longed to have my husband by my side!

He believes she has 1-2 weeks to live.

Thank God our dear friends Alex and Amy were with me when this news was communicated.  They were with Jenna while I met with him and stayed on with us for quite a while.  Then our teammates started arriving...what would we do without Ivan y Lorena, Kory & Laura, Kyle and Nell?  They are all angels to me.  Later they communicated with Ted & Claudia who are currently traveling in Brazil and they called me, too.

I finally got a hold of Bruce who is 9 hrs behind us in Arizona.  What a relief!  He was as shocked as we had been.  We cried and prayed and talked.  He was thankfully able to change his ticket to leave today and so will be with us tomorrow midday.

I had the difficult task of communicating this with Dani and Jordan.  We are all broken hearted but trusting at the same time.  Jenna is so full of love for us and we can´t imagine life without her or our family unit without her...

We also spoke with the Endocrinologist since the oncologist said we needed to decide if we were to continue her nutrition or not...on the one hand, he feels that continuing to pour in nutrition is oversaturating an already compromised system and is prolonging her not continue it could increase her quality of life but not its length.  It didn´t take Jenna long to decide that she may not have control over cancer but she will not willingly die of starvation!  We proposed to the Endocrinologist that she adjust her nutrition to the lightest possible nutrition with fewer calories to tax her liver as little as possible but that we keep her hydrated and at least minimally nourished.  We can monitor the rest of the symptoms as we go.

I spent a lot of time today with people, my children, Drs & nurses and on the phone and I am just now getting to the blog to let all you dear ones know...How I wish I had better news for you who have been by our sides constantly in all these months!  I pray God will reward your love & sacrifice...

The kids and I are altogether tonight here at the hospital.  We will all spend the night and Dani & Jordan have both decided to go to school tomorrow...they feel it will be a good distraction and Jordan longs to be among his friends who understand him in ways perhaps we can't.  After we had broken the news to him, cried, prayed and loved on Jenna for quite a while, he was then on his cell all afternoon, talking & crying with a number of his classmates.  They will both come back here midday where we will reunite with Bruce.  Our family is so, so very precious to us.

There is perhaps more to say but that is enough for today.  We will keep you posted.

I have no words for all of you who have journeyed with us this year.  He is able!  Let us all enter into a sweet trust in His perfect goodness and plan, a rest in His love & power, a complete surrender to all He has - whatever the shape it takes.

So much love to you all,


for Bruce, Jenna, Daniela and Jordan


  1. Dearest Pam

    I have had it on my heart to write this for some time, but since we do not know one another very well and you have so many other people in your life, I have held back. Now does not seem a time for holding back.

    I cannot imagine what you have been facing as you have watched your precious baby suffer. I have thought of the way I used to go into the girls’ rooms when they were little, just to watch their sleeping forms. At times, my breath would catch in my throat as involuntarily I prayed, ‘Father, keep her.’

    I do not know what you are facing. But this tugging, this love that causes tears to prick suddenly, I know this. I know what it is to hold the sleep-heavy body of my precious child and wonder at the melding of our hearts, our lives. I cannot imagine all that it means to surrender in the midst of what you are living, but I know that there have been times when I have raced back to the school gate just to see the retreating form of my daughter, to see, to prove to myself that all is well.

    As I allow these memories to flow over me, as I allow myself to feel this fear of separation, this terror of loss, it becomes my prayer for you. As much as I am able, I enter into this holy place of pain and surrender, to stand there alongside you feeling this longing that goes beyond words.

    And I think of our Father, as He released His Son to the grief and the glory of incarnation. Did His throat also swell with the pressing of tears unshed? Did His heart also ache with the feeling of oneness stretched almost beyond what it could bear? (Almost, but not quite.)

    Yes, He knows. He knows. And He is there, with you in each catching of the breath, in each wiping of the eyes. He aches with you, he knows.

    And our hearts are with you too. With a groaning that words cannot express.

    Let your redemption come, Lord Jesus.

  2. I have been, and will continue to pray for Jenna and your family Pam. May God flood your hearts with a peace that only our Lord can give at this time.

  3. What a blow to read this latest entry. Our whole family send our love to you ALL, and especially to Jenna.

  4. We love you and continue to pray for you.You are all precious to us.

  5. We continue to pray for your family and Jenna ...

  6. Continuing in Prayer for you... made sure Greg and Denyse had read your post and others are praying. Will walk the hard path with you to heaven's door, whether for months or weeks or days... and the path that goes beyond, for a time, before turning back again to its hallowed refuge. With tears and hope, your brother, Dana

  7. Pam,
    I often feel my role is to pray in silence and solitude for your family and especially for Jenna. Today I sense the need to communicate openly. Our hearts break with the reading of your most recent post. Thank you for allowing us to walk this path with you. We are inspired daily by you sincere trust and faith in our gracious Father. We will stay the path with you and though oceans may separate we feel the breaking if your hearts. We will pray for an overwhelming sense of peace and for a sustaining that only our Lord can provide. We trust

  8. Though we have never met, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  9. Thank you for sharing. We are remembering you as you all come together, reunited, joining to take this journey wrapped in love for each other, bathed in prayer from all around the world. We love you.

  10. Dear Bruce and Pam, from Mexico we send our love and are lifting up prayer in light of this most recent news about Jenna. We love you guys, STEVE (for JANICE as well)

  11. My heart aches for you and for your lovely daughter, Jenna. Stan and I will be praying for your entire family--for wisdom, encouragement, peace, faith, and a miracle from God.

  12. Tonight, with Maher and Suhair Haddad with us, our home fellowship prayed for Jenna.

  13. Interceding for precious Jenna and the whole Sider family!
    Peace, comfort, healing, courage be to you!
    We are honored to walk in this journey, small part though ours is, with you!
    Our hearts are heavy, but trusting His hand.
    Much Love,

  14. As part of your Canadian Sider family, know that our hearts are heavy as we continue to pray for you all. You are so special to us. I am also praying for the healing of hearts and relationships. (Ps 112)

  15. Words can't express my heart so instead I cry out to the Father. Lord, let your love be felt and understood in new depth, height, width, and length. May your peace, comfort, and counsel be an ever-flowing stream from heaven. We choose to stand on your unceasing faithfulness and goodness--come meet us in new ways Father. Bring a marked sweetness to each and every family moment spent together. We trust you, Jesus. Come surround with your loving embrace.

    Covering you, beautiful Sider family, and sending you all my love.

  16. Pam and family
    So sad to hear this devastating news
    Evidently The Lord has his plans.
    Thoughts and prayers go out to you all. And prayer lists with churches and friends continue for you all and comfort to you all for days to come

  17. Heavy hearted at your crushing news. Praying these verses for all of you today. May you know His comfort: "I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother's milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Sider family, put your hope in the LORD - now and always". Ps. 131:2-3 NLT

  18. Was just listening to this song, and it seems perfect for your situation. "Surer than a mother's tender love, surer than the stars still shine above, I can rest in Your faithfulness."

  19. You continue to be in my prayers every day.

  20. I just found your blog through a prayer request on facebook. I can't even imagine all that you have been throughthis year, I am so sorry.

    "The Lord takes some farther and through more trials than others. Outwardly, they seem 'smitten of God, and afflicted' (Is 53:4). Yet to God, they are His beloved. When they are crushed, like petals of a flower, they exude a worship, the fragrance of which is so beautiful and rare that angels weep in quiet awe at their surrender."

    Praying for you from Ecuador.

  21. Dear Pam,
    Always praying, interceding, clamoring for His miracles, His amazing grace and perfect will for Jenna and your family. Xoxo