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Susan Millsom
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Updates from Diane
Can you believe it has been 6 YEARS?!!
It has been about a year since my last post, I am sorry. It's been a busy year of living LIFE!

First things first, Stephanie and Joey brought a beautiful baby boy into our lives. Isaac Christopher was born on August 15, 2019 he is the sweetest and happiest little guy. Along with Stephanie's new position as a momma, this school year she started working from home as a home school teacher at Inspire. This year "Coach Joey" is working as a traveling adapted PE teacher in the San Diego school district. He continues to work hard in his pursuit of music. But most of all they are being incredible parents to our sweet baby boy.

Drew and Drew have settled nicely in Moscow, Idaho. Drew has been working in a salon for a year building a nice clientele. She made friends with another stylist who decided to stay home to raise her children, so Drew was given an instant clientele. She comes home every six weeks for five days to do a little hair and we all get to spend time with her. I really miss her. I'm grateful for FaceTime and daily conversations. Drew is very understanding and supportive of our visits. He has started his second year as the assistant coach at the University of Idaho. He has earned new responsibilities this year, and he is doing them with great pride.
Andy continues to work hard at his job. He has been my rock through all of this. Every new challenge we face brings us closer. All we can do is put our trust in God and live life in His name.

In February, I had a brain bleed that landed me in the hospital for almost 3 weeks. I was never alone, with Stephanie pregnant, Andy and Drew traded every other night and took charge of the nurses giving me exactly what I needed. I was incredibly lucky with the outcome, Dr. Barnett said this could be a blessing in disguise, by triggering my immune system to fight.
We continue to experience God's presence in all of this since it began in September 2013. If you have been following for the last six years you will understand how we have gotten through this. God and the love of family and friends. As you know it isn't all wine and roses, so when I feel worn out this verse keeps coming to my mind: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Our family feels so grateful for your prayers and love over the years. Thank you so much!
Read Susan's Journey from the beginning
10.30.2019
We would like to welcome any new visitors to my journey. Our hope is that you feel uplifted and encouraged!

Let's get the bad news out of the way first, I had my second recurrence surgery in December 2019, which went great, Dr. Malone was able to remove all the dead tissue from two previous courses of radiation along with the new tumor growth. After a couple weeks of healing, the skin around my incision started to "leak". Turns out this was a buildup of inflammation being pushed out. So, in early January another surgery, to place a shunt to help drain the excess fluid. After a magnetic adjustment of the outflow, new technology is amazing, the leakage stopped, and healing progressed. I was able to start another course of radiation in February, that's it for the bad news. God continues to watch over us and bring us through these challenges.

'Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God'
4.7.2020
Dr. Barnett referred me to a neuro-oncologist involved in Brain Cancer research at UC San Diego / Moores Cancer Center. Dr. David Piccioni was amazing, I have decided to hire him and look forward to working with him. There are so many options now that were not available 6 ˝ years ago when I was first diagnosed. The first steps are DNA genetic analysis of my latest tumor resection and a more in-depth MRI. Then we will decide on a course of action to kill this crap. You have probably heard of immunotherapy; this helps the doctor determine which chemotherapy is the tumor more apt to respond to. We spoke to Dr. Piccioni about the ongoing GBM trials, which he and Dr. Barnett feel are very promising. Having had two recurrences, I would be excluded from many of the trials, but this is a good thing in his mind. Trials limit what and for how long the treatment is provided, by not being on a trial we can throw everything available to prevent regrowth of any tumor and know we have done everything possible to stay healthy until there is a cure. We are continually blessed by God with great doctors and the best possible care.

Watching Isaac, our first grandson, grow is the miracle of life, which motivates me every day to work even harder to keep fighting.
Stephanie and Joey are enjoying this special time at home with Isaac while quarantined. As first-time grandparents, it has been over 2 weeks since we have been able to get closer than 6 feet from our precious Isaac. Thankfully, Stephanie teases us at least twice a day, with a Good Morning wake up picture of Isaac and every evening I get to FaceTime with him at bedtime. Amazing technology.
 
Drew and Drew are weathering the storm, both literally and figuratively. Living in Idaho this time of year the weather can make drastic swings, snow one day and then bright and sunny the next. Thankfully, Spring is coming. Being quarantined means they are both at home. Two weeks ago, a sheriff walked into the salon where Drew works and told them, they were being shut down at midnight by the Governor. Drew’s Women’s Basketball team at the University of Idaho had their season ended the day before they were to play in the conference finals. What a bummer, the girls worked so hard this year. Luckily, we were there to watch the tournament and spend time with the Drews. It has now been over 2 months since Drew has been home and we miss her very much; technology again is keeping us connected with multiple FaceTimes a day.
 
Please everyone be safe in these uncertain times, stay healthy.
5.3.2020
I think we have a tendency to paint a pretty picture in an effort to spread hope, but what we’re going through (what we ALL go through) is not always pretty. Especially right now.

Mom has been facing some communication/speech difficulties that have gotten increasingly more difficult over the past few weeks. This week, mom woke up and was having much more trouble than normal when trying to speak. Her words are jumbled, it’s hard for her to focus. She is VERY aware of this, which is insanely frustrating for her, but she keeps trying to get those words out. I’m so proud of her for not giving up. We have been pushing to get to the bottom of what is causing these current difficulties, so her doctor ordered an immediate MRI, and mom went in yesterday for a scan. While in the MRI machine, she was able to pray (this is something that has not been coming easily lately).
She shared with me that she got a strong sense of urgency to pray for our sweet friend, Chelsea, and her little one-year-old babe, Cole, going through some really tough stuff right now. She told me that she had a sense of peace, something she has not felt in a while. Then she said, “some things we go through are not pretty, but God perseveres.” She wants to pass along that urgency to you. PLEASE join us in praying for this family. Pray for Cole. Pray hard. Mom asks to send all our energy into praying for them. We are called to trust all the unknowns, no matter how scary, to our very known and loving God. He is good. He perseveres.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30


All our love,
Steph & Susan
The Strength of a Mother
Read a article about Susan featured in AP
Our best friend went to be with the Lord on the morning of Friday June 12, 2020.
Our hearts are grieved and crushed at our great loss, but we are beyond grateful for the beautiful legacy she leaves and her eternal life in Heaven. We are celebrating that Susan is healed, whole, and dancing with Jesus. After a few challenging months and a sudden hemorrhage on June 7, we were faced with difficult options. Mom could have endured 2+ weeks in the ICU, intubated, and alone with a grim prognosis or come home to spend her last days with us. As the warrior she is, Mom gave us the gift of coming home to say goodbye and be surrounded and loved on by her family and friends. She will continue to be a light and a blessing to all of us. She fought strong and loved stronger.
 
Mom’s constant prayer was that God would use her story for His good and glory. Let it be so.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”        -Matthew 11:28-30

From our family to yours, thank you for lifting us up throughout this journey. Susan loved you and we do too.
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In Memory of
Susan Millsom:
GBM Research Donation
Click here to donate today
She lived a life of LOVE, as a shining example to others.
 
Susan Frances Millsom (53) went to be with the Lord and her Dad on Friday, June 12, 2020, peacefully surrounded by family after a brave six and a half year battle against Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) brain cancer. She was a light and a blessing to everyone who knew her, and “to know her was to love her”.
 
Susan was born on August 27, 1966, to Frank Hetherington and Eleanor August (Fone) in Baldwin Hills, CA. She brought joy growing up in Sylmar, CA as the middle sister between her younger brother, Richard Hetherington and her older sister Mimi Mack (Hetherington). She married Andrew Scott Millsom on April 23, 1988 and they began their once in a lifetime love. They raised two beautiful daughters who would become her best friends, Stephanie Hether Alarcon (Joey Alarcon) and Drew Noelle Muscatell (Drew Muscatell). Motherhood was her true passion, and just when we thought her heart couldn’t grow any bigger, she fell in LOVE with her first grandson, Isaac Alarcon.
 
Among her many talents, Susan enjoyed painting beautiful pictures, creating jewelry and cards, working out and running marathons. Her love of art extended to her long career as a hairstylist, which was more about the people she was serving than the hairstyling. She would never miss a chance to be there for someone in need. Clients turned into lifelong friends, as she impacted others with her positivity, her constant bright smile, fun demeanor, empathy and her faith.
 
The hearts of those who love her are grieved and crushed at our great loss, but we are grateful for the beautiful legacy she leaves and her eternal life in Heaven. She was a gift. Thoughtful and kind. She fought strong and loved stronger. Her constant prayer was that God would use her story for His good and glory. Let it be so.
 
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating at www.gofundme.com/Team-Susan-GBM to support GBM research.
6.13.2020