Thursday, May 7, 2009

UPDATED 5/8/09: Prayer request

[Please see "UPDATE" below for new details on Ashli's medical condition.]

My dear friend Ashli is getting medical tests. Depending on how they turn out, the situation may be very serious. Please pray for her and her family, and ask St. Gianna Molla to pray for her as well.

You may know Ashli as a pro-life blogger and as the author of Beyond Morning Sickness, the first-ever patient's guide to the pregnancy disease known as HG, hyperemesis gravidarum.

See her tell her story on CNN:

I believe Ashli's faith helped inspire the conversion of our mutual friend Raving Theist, who has written of her:

Apart from sending free copies of the book to approximately 1,000 Ob/Gyns and any woman who wrote to her, Ashli has worked with the suffering women, their families and their doctors over the phone, in e-mails and in person to ensure that the pregnancy is brought to term. The glowing reviews of her book at Amazon by HG sufferers are but a small testament to the selfless dedication of this devout Christian homeschooling mother.

Ashli’s heart-wrenching work is often made more difficult by the pressure exerted by insurance companies, medical care providers, family members and friends to abort. Also terrible is the ordeal experienced by the bedridden mothers who become unable to attend to the needs of their other children. But worst of all can be the suffering of those children themselves, who are often bewildered by the seeming abandonment and frightened by their mothers’ plight.
 [Read the full post.]
Now this mother who works so selflessly to help other mothers—and whose youngest child turns five today—is in urgent need of your prayers. Thank you and God bless you.

UPDATE: Raving Theist has details of Ashli's condition:
After testing raised concerns regarding her adrenal function, she underwent a CAT scan. On Wednesday, the results indicated a 1.8 centimeter growth on the tail of her pancreas. Tests are continuing and no firm diagnosis has yet been made. She does not know whether it is benign, pre-cancerous or malignant.

At a follow-up visit yesterday afternoon, the doctor somewhat hopefully indicated that he didn’t think that she was a ”Michael Landon or a Patrick Swayze.” He said that there was calcification, which is present in only approximately 20% of cancerous tumors, but it is not clear whether that means that the odds are 80% against malignancy. The doctors are currently reviewing her medical history, particularly with respect to hyperemesis, to shed light on her condition. She will meet with a specialist on Monday regarding the scheduling of an endoscopic ultrasound and other matters.

She will also undergo further testing with regard to the adrenal issue. The doctors have indicated that they would like to clarify the nature of that problem before going forward with any surgery (if necessary) to avoid the need for multiple surgeries. Ashli is concerned about the potential delay involved with that approach.

That is all we know at this juncture. We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Ashli has asked to me to share this information with you, and encourages you to share it with others and seek their prayers.

She would also welcome any information or advice you could offer regarding doctors, hospital and treatment programs. After over a decade of tireless research and advocacy for women with hyperemesis, she is simply spent. This new mountain that has suddenly appeared at her feet is one she does not even want to look at, much less climb. She needs others to carry her over it. Please help.
If you have advice for Ashli or would like to let her know of her prayers, she may be reached via her Web site.