the last few days have been a whirlwind of things happening really quick and on top of eachother. Bud, was hospitalized with pneumonia, then discharged 3 days later and since then gone downhill quickly. Of course, there were several phone calls to his oncologists and all, and as of Sunday morning, he has eaten maybe 6 bites of fruit cocktail, 4-5 spoonfulls of chicken noodle soup, maybe 3-4 bites of pot roast and veggies, and a kit kat bar....oh and two Boosts. I had to take him in to get out-patient IV fluids yesterday, followed by another visit with the oncologist. Bud looked like death warmed over. I asked about the VNA program...visiting nurse assn....and after a prolonged silence, his onco suggested that it was time to bring in hospice. Never mind the initial feeling that this provoked.....sob....dang it.......
So, I began the process of speaking with the hospice people, who came out today for a lengthy evaluation. He was put on oxygen...YEAH....which he needed all along in my opinion...and they reworked his pain meds to include some immediate release meds along with the long time release ones....the oxygen seemed to help right off the bat. At one time Bud needed to go to the bathroom, and with my assistance, he did and was in there for several minutes. This allowed me time alone with the nurse/evaluator, and he has dealt with these life and death issues for so long that I felt grateful that he was there to give me a professional opinion. I asked him how long....and at once I understood completely how Ron felt when Becky was delivered the news. Maybe 4-6 weeks. Maybe 8, maybe 2. I asked if he would make it until Christmas as his first grandaughter was due 12/30. The man looked at his feet thoughtfully for a long time, then said..."some people are able to hang on longer for a special reason"...
We are planning on having Christmas the first weekend in November. I cannot even begin to describe how our entire family is feeling right now. Like we have been clobbered over the head with huge logs, never mind what Bud must be feeling like since he "knows" something is very wrong, even though I have not told him a time line. I will NOT. If I do, he will just ......quit.
I pray each day to bring peace to our hearts as we beging to enter the final leg of our journey. The people we love and adore so much are wearing out....longing for peace and freedom from pain. For a better place to find rest, and joy in knowing that their suffering has finally come to an end. We humans that are the caregivers, friends and family, are left to grapple with the awful feelings that these conditions evoke in us. We want them to win, to be one of the few that are victorious. One of the few that defeats this cancer demon. Instead, we KNOW that the battle is almost over. They KNOW it is almost over. And, both sides are afraid to say....what we all know is inevitable. I just want to wrap my arms around him and hold him tight....I tell him every day that I love him. And, I even ask if the ex wives want to communicate with him to say what they have to say, to release years of frustration and bitterness at the door. To say I am sorry. Life is too short.
I hope that the new people coming here can find strength here. Some of us have shared many many months of stories and thoughts and bad days and good days. There are a few of us here that have been here for quite a while, and we are in about the same place with things. Please, don't run scared. Be corageous, and strong and full of hope and peace. That will get you through the days and weeks to come.
My Dear Jan,
My heart sank when I read your posting. You have been thru so much and not exactly sure if I have even the right thing to say...HOW ABOUT A BIG HUG as I sit here sobbing myself. I see Stan right behind Bud and it scares me, but I must be strong to get thru this. (we all must be strong!) I had been skipping the gym and falling apart emotionally so got back on track again. I am one of those people that must work out to cope and deal with life.
Your poor Bud not eating! Does he just not have an appetite? Good they were able to help him with the oxygen! Yes, agree with you not sharing the time frame with Bud...not necessary as you never know how long one can live. (look at my Stan outliving what they told him!) It would be great for him to see his grandchild, but I know at the same time you want him comfortable and to be able to enjoy some things in life. Oh, how special you got to get away for your weekend trips during the summer and know those will be forever special memories.
Are you able to take time off from work to be with Bud or is he home alone during the day? I am so fortunate I can be home with Stan 24/7. He went with me to our business today, but he could not last long so we left. He is so determined to get out, but then it zaps him. I told him to save it for Friday when our son has his game.
I just cannot seem to find the right thing to say Jan, but please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I share with Stan how all are doing, but think I will hold off on mentioning about Bud. I did mention Becky to him a while back, but worry about them...has there been a posting lately that I have missed?
Remember Jan you have a wonderful new extended family when you married Bud and it seems like they will be there for you. You hang in there....I just cannot put my thoughts together...so sad for you.
And to those who are new to the board, don't let this get you down....there are survivors! Bud has just had a tough battle as many others, but never give up for that miracle.
I too do not know what to say as my heart is breaking for you. In your earlier post this week you said you thought Bud might be where my mom is ready to quit and even then I felt another jab in the heart. I already had that feeling of my heart being torn apart from my mom's decision and hearing about Bud just tugged that hole open more.
It has been a long hard road for both you and Bud and I am sure you are having some of the same feelings I am. The selfish us does not want them to them to continue on their journey to the next stop as we want their physical beings here with us and we want them here for as long as possible but the rational side of us knows it is time for them to continue on and does not want them to have to suffer for a long period. We want them to be at peace and death is the only way for them to find piece now. It is sort of a Catch 22 situation with our emotions. Some of the feelings we have make us feel quilty for even having them, as it makes us question our true feelings, yet in our head we know the truth. It is the old fight between heart and head.
I have learned over time that it is best to listen to our head as that small voice that comes from within and tells us it is time, is the truth. Is it the voice of God? Maybe but with many things in life if you just still your heart for a moment or two you will hear that voice.. How often have you heard some one say they should have listened to that voice? It knows right from wrong and we have to learn to trust it.
Since you love dogs like I do I will tell you my previous dog was old, had heart problems and lymphoma and my vet told me you will know when it is time to put her down, and to believe that from the point we had the discussion that there was no wrong time. She did not appear to be suffering and was even dealing well with Devil puppy Jazz. I worked all weekend came home on Monday Morning and she did not greeted me at the door .When I offered her breakfast she looked at me( she was a big time chow hound!) and when our eyes met I knew in an instant that it was time to make that decison. I did not want her to suffer a even a day so I called the vets and made an appointment for late in the afternoon to put her down. I got a few hours of sleep and got up packed a picnic lunch and took just her with me to the park. ( devil puppy stayed home alone to reek havoc as usual).As I sat eating and she lay by my side I started to second guess that voice I heard that morning and was thinking I would call the vet and tell him I changed my mind maybe she had more time left in her old body. I was set to do that when Maddie sat up and started panting real hard and soon started sounding like someone in congestive heart failure who's lungs are full of fluid, so I picked her up and raced to the vets. She was on the other front seat and put her paw in my lap and looked up at me right before she passed out. I walked into the vets with an unconscious gasping dog and just prayed he has available to put a quick end to this which he did. I took this as a sign that yes that voice had been right it was the right time. Part of me feels she knew I was waffling on the decision and because it was time she forced me to see that or maybe did it so I would see that and never second guess myself.
I think we all need to tune into that voice and not let our selfish hearts blurr it out. I think God is within every person on earth and that voice may come from him, it is our connection to life. God is the life source.
Another weird thing happened as I heard from an old high school friend that I haven't heard from in years but when I got home after 4 days at work this Tuesday there was an E-mail from her. Her mom, Betty died suddenly in her sleep almost 5 years ago and she had been a very important person during my high school years and her death was hard on me. Since my mom's diagnosis the times I have felt the bluest I have felt Betty around me and while I can not say I heard her say, I did feel she was telling me that everyting would be ok that this was just how life is. Yes I would feel comfort from it. My friend said that Betty' only grandchild at the time of her death who was only a few months old, Sits and talks to " Nana Betty". She said isn't that weird? The more I thought about it I feel not as I know beyond any doubt that Betty is around that child alot and I think when we are that young and our minds are not yet polluted by society that we can sense spirits around us and talk to them. We are probably our most open to the spirtual world when we are very young and again at the end of our life. Anyway it was just weird to get that E-mail at this time as it was something I needed.
Jan I will continue to pray for Bud and you and send you both a big ((((Cyber hug))). Keep us posted as we are here for you and sadly some of us are now in that boat with you and Bud. God Bless you both. JanMarie
Thank you all for your kindness. Today I met with the inspector from FEMA. We will not be able to payoff the mortgage, so a Chapter 7 is looming in my new future. Just cannot seem to get good news lately. Poor Bud is sipping at some Boost at the moment, feeling even more down after I had to share what FEMA's contribution would be. And, also being so sick and weak, unable to help me take care of any of this. I cannot seem to shake the sinking feeling that has settled into the pit of my stomach. Just can't seem to find any joy, all seems so bleak. I know my Lord will take care of me, and even in my darkest hour, Bud's hour is so much darker. God will see us through. I love you all and Pat, what a tremendous inspiration you are to all here. Renea, I pray for you and your hubby and Kim, you give Stan a big hug from us here in Indiana.
JanMarie, oh honey, your posting hit home. How very sad that you had to lose your Maddie while going through already so much. My Bugs is confused and rarely leaves Bud's presence. He knows something is very wrong. We are here for eachother and I guess, sadly as you said, some of us are in the same boat. The Titanic.
Not sure how I missed seeing your posting yesterday and just when you needed us. I cannot believe the bad news that keeps flowing your way! I honestly think Extreme Makeover on your home is what you need! I admire your strength and always remind myself when I am having a tough day...things could be worse and it is so true! I am sorry you have to deal with Chapter 7 on top of everything else you have been dealing with these days. I pray that Bud is being able to eat more to gain his strength. May God Bless you and give you strength Jan to get thru this big speedbump. Stan is sleeping more too and not sure where we stand with him at this point. He was up on and off all night in pain. (you know he will only take Vicadin) He tends to take longer naps though and has been sleeping now for the last 1 1/2 hours.
Know that I am embracing you with bug Hugs Jan and for Bud too....what an incredible man he is...
Jan, if you haven't already tried to do so, you may want to check into the possibility of other federal programs that may be available to help. I don't know if FEMA has informed you of any other options for assitance, but I would try calling your local HUD office (Housing and Urban Development) for guidance. I found something on the HUD web site that may be of some assistance. http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/nsc/qaho0121.cfm
Take care, Kris
Don't feel bad for me as I lost Maddie 10 yrs ago when Jazz was a devil puppy. I just told the story as it was the day I learned to never doubt that voice that comes from within. Since that Day I do not second guess that voice.
I have a funny story ( sad but funny little story) My mom wanted me to take her to the grocery store the other day and while there she stopped at the card rack and was looking at birthday cards. I asked who are you looking for a birthday card for? She said " I am not,I am looking for an anniversary card".After I sucked in a feeling that I would burst into tears I pointed out the anniversary card section down at the other end. At times she seems so confused and at other times she does not. Today is my parents 56th wedding anniversary.That day she seemed to be sleep walking which I hope is just the Vicodan she has been taking for the jaw pain.
I have too tell you the day I saw the post about your house being red tagged I felt so bad and figured I needed to find a way to help you. I e-mailed Oprah thinking maybe her angel network could help you but I got the standard responce back about how they got the email but due to the volume of e-mail they get I may not get a reply. Then I thought what about your local news as ours often does stories about people that need help and the help pours in so I emailed them and explained how I know you and that you lost your house in the floods.I figured either one would be able to locate you with what little info I know but once again I heard nothing back..darn! I feel so helpless as I wanted to be able to help you as you and Bud have been through enough already!
We see mom's omcologist on Monday. Have heard nothing about the CT yet so now I am thinking is it still stable? Is it that bad he doesn't want to tell her via phone as in the past he has called when there has been progression? Is the way she feels right now all chemo related and/ or related to the infection in her jaw? She is so weak and eats so very little drinks even less which then makes her even weaker. It sounds like Bud and her are about the same when it comes to eating right now.
My sister, her husband, daughter and grandson are here this weekend. The baby is 7 months old and is a good natured baby so my mom has been enjoying her first great grandchild despite her lack of energy.
I am sending extra thoughts and prayers your way not only for Bud but for finding a way to get your life settled as Bud does need to know that you have a home and will be safe. Hang in there. JanMarie
JanMarie, you are such an awesome person...going to Oprah and our local news....God love you. Some people tried to name us for Extreme Makeover...but we are just a drop in the bucket, and you know, God will place us in the right place at the right time. Bud has been awfully grouchy today and we have both been at odds with eachother. too much time together...not used to this. But we love eachother and try hard to put up with eachother's fluctuations of moods etc etc...
Today, he ate 1/2 bowl of vegetable soup, 2 boosts, part of a salad and a bread stick and a WHOLE Dole fruit cup. He is beginning to put 2 and 2 together. He asked me today...I am dying, aren't I! I flat told him, that unless he begins to eat and drink and fight back, yeah....no Christmas. I was brutal, but I knew I had to be to get him mad and ready to pull himself up by his bootstraps....He has not wanted to bathe for the last 10 days and his teeth went unbrushed for almost a week. I know that's nothing like him as he has always been so fastidious about his hygene and appearance. Just trying to motivate him, my own version of a Marine's bootcamp I guess.....and, it might be working.
I thank everyone for their input. Kris, thanks for the HUD info and I have already investigated Habitat for Humanity. When I met the FEMA inspector, we went into the family room, that was flooded 8" of water. There is mold growing all the way up from the floor. Our walls are cracked, the ceiling in our master bedroom is drooping and cracking. We would need to borrow at least 90K to repair, with no guarantee that it would not happen again. I cannot justify that kind of money. It would be good money going down after bad. The whole thing just makes me ill. My pool is gone, my pond is gone...after all of my hard work and effort. But, they are just material things. Bud is what counts now, and things are not so rosy. Today I about cleaned out Buehler's Buy Low...a local grocery chain. I have bought a little of everything, I think. It they don't go over, I can send the groceries home with the kids. There is always a willing volunteer...LOL...
I just so wish I could meet each of you. That we could sit down around a campfire, roasting marshmellows, exchanging thoughts and drawing a bit of peace from a cool evening night-out.