Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Into the arms of my Savior

Today at 12:36 pm Joanne McGuckin went home to be with the Lord. She died peacefully in her home surrounded by family. She was a loving mother of two daughters, a faithful wife, and the youngest of four siblings. She was an aunt, a sister, a daughter, a grandmother, a niece, and a friend to many people.

There will be a memorial service at Calvary Chapel North Phoenix on Saturday, January 29th at 10:00am.
14201 N. 32nd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85032

Several people have asked if they can donate to help the family cover burial expenses. Please use the donate button below or make checks payable to:

Richard McGuckin
5126 E. Monte Cristo Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Thank you in advance for your contribution. Please give us time as we grieve this enormous loss. Thank you for your prayers.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


As you know, this has been a very difficult time for our family.

We have had many friends and family showing up at my parents home, with out calling first. We ask that you do not put us in such a position. I know you are well meaning, but we are not allowing visitors at this time. We will contact you if we need anything (ie: food, support). We appreciate your prayers from afar.

We need to spend time with my mother, holding her hand, praying with her, and enjoying the time that we have.

Thank you for understanding.


Friday, January 21, 2011

This doesn't seem real

The kidney doctor came in yesterday with not so good news. Mom's kidney's are functioning at about 5% and are steadily getting worse. This is not a good thing. This is due to her cancer which is spreading. We are truly devastated by this news, and spent most of the morning praying, crying, and hugging.

Her oncologist informed her that she is not a candidate for chemotherapy. We are all saddened by this news. I still can't believe this is happening as I write this.

We contacted hospice yesterday and today we spent most of the day, working out all the details. My mom wants to be at home so thats where we plan for her to be; surrounded by all of us, her pets, and a view of her beautiful backyard.

If you saw my mom, you wouldn't know she has a terminal illness. She had 26 people visit her at the hospital yesterday. She was enjoying being the center of attention. It was a wonderful time with lots of family around, talking, laughing, and just hanging out. If any of you know my mom, her favorite thing to do is hang around her family and friends, and just talk. Add in a cup of coffee and some biscotti, and her Italian blood is pumping.

Right now, she's just made it home. She's snug in her bed, getting to know her new nurse, and enjoying some time with Dad and I. She's so sweet. Her puppy Athena, whom she absolutely loves, is sitting on her lap asleep.

My mom has so much faith, and fight in her. Her body has been through so much in the last 6 months, and she's taking all of this so gracefully. I know she's scared of the future, as we all are, but she has always been a pillar of strength. Please pray that she would let us carry as much of this burden as we can. We want to be able to walk her through her fears of dying. There is so much grief wrapped up in all of this.

We ask that you please be praying for the following;

That her pain would be managed
That her anxiety and fears would be given over to the Lord
That we would all speak encouraging and supportive words to her
That we would have strength through this time of grief

We know we serve a loving God who walks with us through joys and trials. We are not alone in this.

In Jesus,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mom just had two rounds of lasiks ( a diuretic) to help eliminate the fluid building up all over her body. Her potassium level was over five yesterday. That is too high of a number, and they gave her something to make it go down. Praise God it's at a 4.7 and we'll find out more when she get's her labs drawn today.

We will update you on anything else when we know more.

Please pray for these things according to God's will:
Her kidney function would go back up
Her nausea would subside
Her eliminations would return to normal
Her anxiety would subside
Her kidney's would function so she can start chemotherapy

I know a few of you have asked if you can give financially. I've placed a donate button at the bottom of the page. You have to have a paypal account to give money this way. If you have any questions or concerns about that, please feel free to e-mail me. The money will be distributed to me and I will give it directly to my parents. If you want to give without using this button please contact me at audra.garbinski@gmail.com and we can work something out.

Thank you for all your support and prayers.

With love,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Update on Joanne McGuckin

Hello Everyone,

Here is the first post of a Blog I've created in honor of my mom, Joanne McGuckin. I've always wanted to start a blog, but I guess I was hoping it would be under different circumstances. We've used caring bridge in the past to update you on the events going on with my mom, but we feels that this will be a better way to communicate with you all. Please feel free to reply to these posts, and I will do my best to keep everyone updated on the latest.

As most of you know , mom's cancer has aggressively spread and is now in the 4th stage. This came as a big shock to all of us. Just to give you a bit of perspective, every cancer is staged differently and Adrenal Cortical Cancer (ACC) only has 4 stages.

Adrenal Cancer is rare. It affects one patient per 1 million in the population worldwide. If you happen to Google this disease you will not find promising outcomes or much hope. The best site I have found to answer my questions is the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.

Mom went into the E.R. Sunday night with strong abdominal pains and was admitted shortly after. She is extremely uncomfortable and has a hard time resting and sleeping due to the pain in her abdomen. She is also having shoulder pain, which we think is related to muscle tightness. We met with the chemotherapy nurse this morning and found out that Mom is having a problem with her kidneys. In order to administer the chemotherapy, her kidneys need to be functioning properly. The renal (kidney) doctor is trying to get her kidneys up and running but things are not looking good.

I know many of you have asked how you can help. We truly believe that God is in control of this situation and we ask that you would pray that mom’s kidneys would heal so that she can get this chemotherapy. We’ve all been praying for God’s will in this situation because we know He knows what’s best for her body. He created it.

I know many of you want to see her, and at this time, I think she wants visitors. If that changes, I will let you know, but before you decide to visit her, please keep these things below in mind.

1. Most of her doctor’s see her in the mornings so we ask that you don’t come until the afternoon or evenings.

2. If she is resting or sleeping please do not disturb her. She is very weak and she NEEDS every bit of rest that she can get.

3. Please don’t require conversations with her. Just being next to her and maybe holding her hand is all she needs.

4. Please be respectful of our family and wait for us to update you on all that is going on. This is an extremely difficult time for us, and although text messages, and phone calls are meant only out of love and concern, please keep in mind that we have too many people wanting to know what is going on right now.

Mom is having a hard time eating solid foods; so if you feel inclined to do so, pick up a jamba juice gift card for her if you think of it. We will update you with more information as soon as we have it.