Life Happens – Part 1

It’s been a rough few weeks here at Raising Up Rentfros. While I know our blog is important to keep updated and a great resource for support, I couldn’t bring myself to write anything about what was actually going on at our house. We’ve had more than a few setbacks and surprises along the way but I’m happy to be writing again!

A few weeks ago, my sister and I got a major shock when our mother was admitted to a hospital in Houston, TX.  She is a seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor but has had some major medical issues along the way, as I’m sure you can imagine, so we were thinking this was “business as usual” and something that was to be expected.

Mom Holding Hands
Not knowing what’s wrong is heart-wrenching

We were then thrown for a major loop and a week-long whirlwind experience.

The hospitalization actually had NOTHING to do with the cancer, but she was admitted for a UTI (common with her disease).  When she began hallucinating and becoming majorly paranoid, we figured something else must be up.




The doctors at the hospital started throwing around words like:


“This is it”

“Prepare Your Families”

“She can never go home”  (she lives with my sister)

She was diagnosed with hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) and the doctors refused care for her because they were afraid she wouldn’t make it through surgery.

Immediately, my sister phoned her oncologist at MD Anderson who raised Holy Hell on my mom’s behalf.

Because of this man and the strings he was pulling behind the scenes, she was immediately released to his care.  We hauled ass to downtown Houston with Mom in tow.  

Once there, Mom was extremely cautious of the staff and in a constant state of confusion and high anxiety. After seeing her real oncologist, she began to relax and be reassured that she was in the right place.

She endured hours of testing, poking, prodding and endless interrogation to see if they could come up with the same diagnosis as the last hospital.

The MRIs and CTs showed nothing that looked like Hydrocephalus but ordered a lumbar puncture to test to see if surgery was an option. After the lumbar puncture, we didn’t see any of immediate results that we were expecting to see in the hours after the procedure.

It broke my heart knowing she was in a constant state of fear and paranoia while also trying to mentally process what was happening to her.  She was trying to function on no sleep over the last four days at this point.

Fast-forward 36 hours from the procedure and I call my mom on my way to the hospital again (as I did every morning on my way in to reassure her that we were there and she wasn’t alone, I would have stayed with her but had our one-year old daughter with me)….on the other end of the phone, was my mother….my REAL mother. My non-paranoid, happy-go-lucky, cheeky witted mother.

Since she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer over seven years ago, I started saving her voicemails. With this disease, you just never know.  Always a comfort to hear her voice, listen to her wise words and get sage advice…it was a huge shock to hear the woman live on the other line return to this person.

Her doctors STILL to this day cannot explain what happened to her or how she snapped out of it, ruling out the lumbar puncture.  The team of neurosurgeons, oncologists, nurses and med students have all ruled out the hydrocephalus, the UTI, and any other known ailment that could have caused this ordeal.

I guess we’ll be left in the dark on this, but as for mom…she’s back home with my sister, brother-in-law and their four children actively thriving and globe trotting again.

A candid from my nephew’s high school football game

It’s taken me a while to fully process the fact that we’ll never know any answers and to just move on like it didn’t happen.

Maybe it happened to show that we shouldn’t take our parents for granted.  Maybe it happened because we were all being a little selfish with our time.  Maybe she had a UTI and/or Hydrocephalus!?

All I know is we are all lucky to have this wonderful woman in the world with us here and I’ll continue to try to convince her that she needs to start a YouTube Channel to share her journey with us all!

You’d love her.

We love you Mom.

Moms are awesome
The lady’s got class and style and a huge heart to match!


Next life “change” coming soon!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Ann says:

    Melissa, very well written piece and all you can say is miracles do happen and obviously, she was not ready to give up her earthly life. She has too much excitement coming and wonderful grandchildren that she wants to watch grow, achieve and find their place in the world. Love to all, your Martin cousins

    1. Thank you, Ann! We truly love and appreciate your support! We’re thrilled to have her with us still.

  2. Mary says:

    Love this Meli. You made me cry. Thank you for being a wonderful sister. I love you MULE!! 🤔

    1. Love you too NAG! 😘

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