Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday May 29, 2009

As we prepare to lay Lisa to rest, we as a family would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you again for the tremendous outpouring of Faith, Love and Support you have shown to Lisa and to us over these last months. Our deep love for Lisa combined with the energy and love we felt from each of you each and every day is truly what gave Lisa the will to fight each day and what sustained us through this journey.

As difficult as this has been, it has brought us memories that will last a lifetime. It has brought us closer together as a family and helped us to understand how truly blessed we were and how wide her reach was.

I cannot begin to tell you how much your support impacted Lisa and how much energy it gave her. The first thing she we ask me to do every day without fail was to read the blog updates and then your comments. It lifted her spirit and we were blessed to witness the impact that you had on her.

I hope that all of you will join us at the house tomorrow to continue celebrating Lisa's life As you all know, she loved to have a party and this is exactly how she would want to be sent off.

With Love and Thanks
The Stephensons
Jim, Josh and Melissa

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday May 28, 2009

Hello All,

Again, The memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday May 30, 2009, at Grace First Presbyterian Church in Long Beach. It is located at 3955 Studebaker Road, Long Beach, CA 90808.

The graveside service will be held immediately following at Forest Lawn in Cypress.

If you don not wish to attend the graveside service, we could use a couple of volunteers to help set up at the Stephenson household.

The Stephenson Home will be hosting a reception to celebrate Lisa's life after the graveside service, all are welcome.

If you would like to make a charitable donation in Lisa's name in lieue of flowers, our first choice would be Grace First Presbyterian Church at the address above(To be used in the children's ministry). They will accept Cash or check donation.

The second option is the Breast Cancer Care & Research Fund, 6022 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 201, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Thank you all for your support and prayers!

With Love,

Joshua, Melissa, and Jim

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday May 26, 2009

We would like to once again thank everyone who has been with us through this whole experience. We would not have been able to stay as strong as we were without the support of all of you. Mom was always so glad and excited to hear of the comments that were posted daily. We appreciate all that you meant and still mean to Mom and our family.

We are taking things day by day and managing well, spending as much time together as possible.

The memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday May 30, 2009, at Grace First Presbyterian Church in Long Beach. It is located at 3955 Studebaker Road, Long Beach, CA 90808.

The graveside service will be held immediately following at Forest Lawn in Cypress.

The Stephenson Home will be hosting a reception after the graveside service, all are welcome.

With Love,

Joshua, Melissa, and Jim

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday May 22, 2009

Team Lisa,

This has been a long journey. Tonight we celebrate an amazing mother, wife, teacher, warrior, and friend. Shortly after 10:00 p.m. although Mom's spirit was still wiliing, her body failed. She has now gone to be with our Lord, and is at peace.

She takes with her the love and support that all of you provided during this journey. Once again we can't express our gratitide for those who stood by her in thought and prayer.

Through this experience, Mom has brought our family closer together in so many ways that we never would have imagined before. We spent countless hours learning more about each other than we ever new exsisted. We have mom to thank for that and will continue to be blessed by the many ways that she touched all of our lives.

We hope that you will continue to share your favorite memories with us through this blog. Please feel free to post any or all of your favorite memories or experiences shared with our wonderful Mother and Wife.

We will continue to update information on this blog including upcoming service times, as we know this will reach the largest amount of Team Lisa in the shortest amount oftime.

With love,

Joshua, Melissa, and Jim

Friday May 22, 2009

Mom's status has not changed since yesterday. The outlook does not look good.

All of her family is by her side. As always we appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers. Feel free to share any thoughts or wishes that you would like to share with us or Mom to get us through this time.

We will continue to post updates to keep all of you informed.

Love always,

Josh, Jim, and Melissa

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday May 21, 2009

Mom had a difficult day. Her right lung has collapsed again today.

We will keep you posted.

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday May 20, 2009

Quiet day again today which we’ve come to appreciate. Her vitals are good and they were able to lower her O2 concentrations today so we’re heading in the right direction.

We’re continuously grateful for all of the love and support you have all offered through this entire process, and please know she smiles every night as my dad reads her the cards you’ve sent and the messages you’ve left on the blog.

With love and appreciation,
Mel & the Fam.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday May 19, 2009

Today was another quiet day. Not much to report. She had Physical Therapy earlier and that took a lot out of her, she has spent much of the day since resting and napping. Her vitals remain stable and they are focusing on getting her lungs healed and improving her breathing.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Jim, Josh and Melissa.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday May 18, 2009

Today was a good day for Lisa. Her vitals and her breathing have remained stable all day. Her infectious Disease Dr. tells us her White Blood Cell counts have continued to improved and they are going to back-off on several of the heavy duty Antibiotics. This is great news! It appears she may finally be making some progress with the Sepsis. Now the focus will reamin on getting the chest tube out and continuing the improvement in her breathing while they continue to monitor the sepsis. Keep those prayers coming!

Thank you for your continued support, prayers and encouragement. It is much appreciated and much needed by all of us.

Jim, Josh and Melissa.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday May 17, 2009

Mom has stabilized from the procedure yesterday afternoon, and though they continue to pull fluids off of her lungs, her vitals are steady and respiratory stats improving to more normalized levels. We had a little more excitement this evening with the recent earthquake, but all is well and starting to settle down around the hospital.

Again, we are blown away by her unwavering strength and faith through this entire process. Please continue to lift her in your prayers.

Mel & the fam.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday May 16, 2009

Lisa's restful day yesterday continued through the night and into this morning. She slept through the night and all vitals were stable though to this afternoon. It was good that she had the opportunity to build her strength, because she needed all of it by the end of the day. Late this afternoon, her right lung collapsed. They are not sure of the cause, but her respiration and heart rate started speeding up, over-inflated the lung and caused the collapse. Fortunately, the Pulmonary Dr. was here when it happened and was able to immediately perform a procedure to relieve the excess air and pull off fluids. He was successful in restoring her lung function quickly. Lisa is sedated and sleeping quietly and all off her vitals are stable at this time.

Please continue to keep Lisa in your prayers as she continues to face each of these new obstacles with courage, faith and a strength that is beyond my ability to describe. We appreciate your unwavering love and support.

Jim, Josh and Melissa.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday May 15, 2009

Today has been a calm and quiet day for Lisa. All of her vitals are stable today and her breathing is good as well. She has spent most of the day resting and conserving her strength. We are thankful for these days that bring no new obstacles for her to overcome and that allow her to gather strength and focus on getting well.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers and for your constant encouragement.

Jim, Josh and Melissa

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday May 14, 2009

Today was another quiet day. Lisa continues to progress on her breathing and they were able to lower the oxygen concentration again as a result. They continue to focus on the sepsis and fight it aggressively with the antibiotics. They are also dealing with the effects of the aggressive antibiotics as we found out today, she now has a bacterial infection that is a result of the antibiotics being so strong they reduce the population of good bacteria which then allows bad bacteria which is always present to grow. They tell us this is fairly common in situations like this. So ironically they are now adding a new antibiotic to combat this new issue.

Thank you for you prayers, encouragement and support.

Jim, Josh and Melissa.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday May 13, 2009

Not much change to report today. Lisa's respiration remains stable and and blood work is stable as well. White blood Cell counts remain elevated, but well below where they were initially. They continue to fight the infection aggressively while working on her breathing. They are using three different antibiotics, making sure her electrolyte balance is properly maintained and also making sure she is getting necessary nutrition through her tube feeding.

Thank you for your continued thoughts, prayers and encouragement for Lisa and the family.

Jim, Josh and Melissa.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday May 12, 2009

Mom's respirations continue to be good. Her labs continue to show signs of improvement. Doctors are still managing heart rate and blood pressure through medication. Things have remained relatively the same since yesterday.

Today Mom was moved to the master suite! It's the largest hospital room we've ever seen! We figure we've earned VIP status around here. (Well, at least Mom has, she's doing all the work!)

Thank you again for all of your support, thoughts, comments, and prayers!

Josh, Jim, and Melissa

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday May 11, 2009

Today was another good day for Lisa! Her breathing has improved to the point that they were able to take her off of the Pulse Ventilator and put her on the traditional ventilator. She is doing well with the change and is maintaining her oxygenation at good levels. Her labs continue to show improvement and her Doctors are positive about the changes they are seeing.

Thank you for your continuing prayers and support. We want all of you to know what an important role you have played in this journey for Lisa and the rest of our family. We sincerely appreciate your unwavering support through prayers and encouragement and we give prayers of thanks daily for this wonderful wonderful support team.

Jim, Josh and Melissa

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday May 11, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

Today was a great day to spend with our mom and celebrate the amazing, inspiring and courageous woman that she is. Her spirits remain high and though her attempts to communicate are endlessly frustrating for her (because we’re so slow at lip reading!) she continues to try and always maintains her sense of humor.

Both her cardiologist and her pulmonologist said they saw small improvements in her blood counts today and that her stats are looking stronger. Once again we’ve been so blessed with great Dr’s and attentive nurses and it looks like mom is fighting her way back to health.

Thank you again for all of your love and support and we hope you all had a chance to celebrate the wonderful women in your lives on mothers day!

With Love,
Melissa & The Fam

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday May 9, 2009

As a family we’re blown away with Mom’s emotional, spiritual and physical strength. She continues to improve each day and fight all of the obstacles with every ounce of her being.

Though the doctors are still aggressively fighting the infection and looking for improvement in her lungs, her oxygen levels are steadily heading to more normalized levels and she is communicating through a lot of frustrating chart pointing and mouth reading.

We can’t thank you enough for your continued support and prayers.
With complete love, gratitude and appreciation,

Melissa & The Fam.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday May 08, 2009

Lisa continued to become more responsive today. She is now able to communicate with us and the medical staff by shaking and nodding her head as well as mouthing words. Her strength and spirit has amazed even the doctors. They continue to aggressively treat the Sepsis and we remain hopeful that soon we will begin to see signs that the infection is retreating.

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement. Lisa continues to find strength in your love and support.

Jim, Josh and Melissa

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday May 7, 2009

The last few days have been very difficult, but Lisa has again fought hard and with the help of your thoughts and prayers, exceptional doctors, Nurses, and Therapists and her tremendous fighting spirit, she has begun to stabilize. She is still battling the sepsis in conjunction with the related breathing difficulties but the medical staff here are treating it aggressively and she is responding. Today was the first day she has responded to voice stimulus and opened her eyes and moved her hands for us. As you can imagine, we are elated!

Please keep her in your prayers as she continues to fight.

Jim and the family

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday May 6, 2009

There's has been no change since Monday.

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and support!

Jim, Josh, Melissa

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday May 04, 2009

Lisa's Tracheotomy went smoothly today. It took a little time after the surgery for her vitals to stabilize but as of this evening she is stable. We met with the Doctor today and he let us know that Lisa is suffering from Sepsis as a result of the Liver blockage. This is what has caused the re-emergence of the respiratory problem. They are treating it aggressively with antibiotics and using meds to maintain her vitals.

Please continue your prayers and encouragement for Lisa. We continue to read her your comments daily and they comfort her and us.

Jim,Josh and Melissa.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday May 3, 2009

The responsive nursing and respiratory staff worked hard last night and they were able to stabilize mom and bring her stats to a more normalized range. They’ve placed her on a pulsating ventilator that has been running for 24 hours now and seems to be doing its job. Because they are now seeing that she will be on the ventilator for longer than a couple of days, she has a scheduled tracheotomy for tomorrow.
The good news is that the surgery to fix her liver function has worked and her system is flushing quite nicely. Although mom enjoyed the new tint of her skin that the jaundice provided we appreciate the more pinkish tone she is fading back into. Thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers… we appreciate your continued love and support.

Melissa and the Fam.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday May 02, 2009

The procedure went well last night, they were able to relieve the obstruction which turned out to be a large stone. They found infection behind the blockage and were able to drain a significant portion of it. Tests indicate that the liver function is starting to improve. Unfortunately her breathing continued to deteriorate through the night due to fluid build up related to the liver problem. This morning they had to put her back on a ventilator as she was wearing herself out trying to breath. We (and the DR) are hopeful that this will only be for a couple of days as she fights off the remaining infections.

Please continue your prayers for Lisa and the family. We appreciate your love and support.


Josh & Melissa

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday May 1, 2009

Things took another turn for the worse today. Mom had some breathing difficulties this morning and was moved back into ICU. The doctors have decided to perform the endoscopic procedure tonight. They believe that the blockage is the cause of the recent issues.

Thank you all for your continued thoughts, prayers, and support!

Jim, Joshua, and Melissa