Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Big Bad News

The temptation to continue to stretch the previous post’s metaphor is huge, but that is a slope I will try to avoid.

Rebecca is now officially off of treatment and onto hospice care. This is a recognition of the fact that chemo is no longer helping and that the cancer has progressed to the point that there are no longer any weapons to fight it.

The main point problem is in her liver. Her liver is no longer performing its function properly and is leaking fluid into her abdomen. Her stomach is swollen with that fluid and very uncomfortable. Additionally her swollen liver is in itself painful even when she is in her preferred position, curled up on her side. She is taking significant quantities of pain killers to keep her comfortable which is also keeping her asleep most of the time. Between the drug affects and the blood toxicity her thinking is not always as linear as usual. She is hardly eating or drinking.

There is some small hope that the hospice folks will be able to mitigate the pain without as much sedative affect… but I’m not holding my breath. When she’s asleep she’s not in pain and she doesn’t like pain.

The oncologist guesses that Rebecca may be around for another 6 to 10 weeks but she could continue to surprise us… in either direction. From what I understand there should be a landmark along the way when she turns yellow. When full blown jaundice kicks in we will know that she is in her last few weeks. This is meant to be a fairly gentle way to go; Rebecca will sleep more and more, slip into a coma and eventually pass.

Since we heard this news Rebecca has seemed, to me, to be more peaceful than she has in a long time. She is no longer resisting her body’s natural progression through pure force of will.

Me and the kids are doing well. We are sharing a lot of love, tears and laughs together with Rebecca. All of our hearts are breaking but we know we will all be OK in the end.

I will try to keep the blog updated. Feel free to email, call or just drop in.

Love to you all,



Merrie said...

My heart and love and hugs to all of you. I'm glad she is peaceful.

Bridget Wynne said...

Thanks for keeping us posted, and love love back to you.

Denise Wolf said...

I'm standing in the bart station, crying. Not helpful, I know. Love upon love,

Anonymous said...

My sincerest love to you all. I have held you in my heart since meeting you two years ago and will continue to send nothing short of the best that I have.

Travis said...

It's the change we've feared would eventually come. But each extra day we've had with you has been a gift, and your attitude throughout has been matchless, an inspiration.