(recapp~ I was engaged to Cowboy' 4 years. We met on line after my divorce he then lived in St. James and I in Int'l Falls. I then moved to Alexandria in 2002 after a few months he then moved to Alex also. In 2003 we went through a partial lung removal, chemo in mpls, and several followups). In December we called it off, he then moved out. We had been talking on and off and he kept me updated on his health. We just needed a "break"...
I went to visit him on May 7th and he proceeded to show me his neck it was swollen and a large hard lump on it., he also said it was irritating to swallow. I inquired why he hadnt seen the Dr, He said they wouldnt see him because he owed 410.00. I told him it looked like his cancer may have returned as the Dr. had said to watch for that. He said he begged then a few times to allow someone just to look at it they refused service at the Alexandria Clinic. I told him then go to the hospital! He agreed. I knew he would call if it was anything of importance.
I received a call on May 29,2007 from CB(cowboy) he was at the St. Cloud hosp. and had been transported via ambulance from the Alex hospital to them due to inability to breath. They then were gonna ship him by ambulance to MPLS. I told him to go, they will take good care of him (I was at work in Moorhead). On May 30th he had 2 stints placed in his trachea area to help him breath better and he was discharged to go home June 4th. His son drove him home June 5th. I was back at work in Moorhead so I didnt see him. He called me that TUE and told me how much he loved me, missed me, and please forgive him of any past mistakes... we talked awhile and it felt as though we hadnt been apart a day, like we picked up where we left off. He had a friend their to help him out till I could get their. The next day his voice was gone FOR GOOD, he could barlely whisper... I worked till that friday am and drove home., got some clean cloths then I went to his place (Friday the 8th), he looked awful and his breath smelled of rot. I thought its from the stint surgery. (My son had gone over earlier in the week with his baby to visit and had said he looked ruff.)
He was only sipping h20 and having trouble with that, He didnt want to go to the hospital, so we waited till the AM. then I took him into the hospital. They admitted him, did a CT scan and found the cancer was already growing over the stints! His esophagus was almost completly closed also. Just a few inches down from the openings....He had IV's and they talked of putting a gt in since he hadnt ate for 5 days! He said he didnt want that, and wanted to try to eat liquids. They gave him Morphine drip, fentanyl patch and oral codiene. They kept putting off radiation, it then was scheduled for friday the 15th. He wrote notes, we shared things, he asked if I would marry him before he died.. so many things said.....well "written".... I cut his hair Thursday am. Friday he had radiation at 12:00 and they said he could go home... we went and got more liquid codiene, that was all and he also bought cepastat to suck on..His breathing was awful, and he has a very hard time coughing anything up. His voice remained gone... He sat in his chair, wrote me a note LET ME MAKE YOU DINNER... I said no Ill make you dinner and he had mashed potatoes and gravy then licked the powder off a dough nut. He took his tylenol/codeine and layed down around 9 pm. I cleaned, watched TV watched him. At 12:45 I crawled in next to him and he was rattling, I thought he needs to be woken so he can cough before it gets thick. I began rubbing his arm, back, he stirred then awoke sat up and began to TRY to cough, it was as though he was coughing through a straw.... after the 4th attempt he stood, grabbed at me and lipped I CANT BREATH! then fell to his knees... slumped over.. I called 911, he pulled at me frantic, sweaty his lips white, face blueish, I helped him try to puff his albuterol,trying to calm him and telling him not to move alot save his oxygen.. he was beginning to loose consiouness. The ambulance came they were fighting to get the gerny in the door I began yelling where is the 02, finnally they got it to him, but NOT on him, he became combative due to no 02, we 3 tried to lift him to the gurney as the cop stood outside, the 02 was finnaly put on him, they had no suction with them, He kept thrashing about, I yelled as did the emt to the cop to come help, Clint tried tocrawel accross the foot of the bed to get to the kitchen doot to the gurney, then flaling again they said CUFF him.. Im yelling now are you serious, "we need to get him under control" I said the 02 is off him, and there the tubbing laid on the floor, and the re breather was on his face only, he banged his legs up terribly, Struggling for air... they attempted to strap him down lying flat I said ,No he has to sit up he cant breath! they loaded him and I followed suit.. I was in shock...... I didnt even want to go into the hospital, He was till fighting, his pulse 168, RR 52 sats 74, they drugged him with beta blocker to slow his heart, and tied him down, I just kept talking to him, trying to calm him, they did not suction once... NADDA... I feel it was in fear they would nick the stints and cause bleeding...I got his head up, and tried to hold his restrained hand tighter... My son came and began praying for him, my daughter was there also, It took a few hours to get him semi comfotable to transfer him to Icu...He responded to my daughter asking him if he could hear her by squeezing her hand... and when I whispered in his ear to stay calm, Im here, he pressed his cheek hard against mine (he was still tied down).
In ICU they told us we may want to remove the 02 so he could go. I disagreed till I knew he would be comfortable. He them had another "spell" of alertness and thrashing, unable to breath, and RN suctioned him, he settled down, I told the Dr. I cant take his thrashing and clawing at me, The Dr. assure us it wouldnt happen again he would be watched closer and kept comfotable.( His son came from Mpls). Well it did happen again, only this time the nurse did not suction, he just was tied tighter, I tried to calm him he just shook his head NO NO (now I wish I would have given him pen and paper after all he had been comunicating with everyone like that all week) he had no voice, no breath) finally after enough versaid and morphine was given he did fall back and breath shallow but peacefully. His vital signs actually looked better,... How long can a heart race..? I told the staff It cant happen again where he's alert enough to struggle and FIGHT for breath like that.. obviously the cancer had closed him so tight if not knocked out he was in terror ....they apologized and at shift change the new nurse reassured us he would be comfortable. At 10:00 Pm Sat the 16th hours away from fathers day, The Dr. asked if the son wanted to remove the 02 and let him go, he said yes, once the 02 was off his heart rate went from 141 to 140 then 139 and ticked down, we reassured him we would be fine, he could be free of pain now, we stayed close, and comforted him in word and touch, his face turned blue, as did his finger tips, at 10:36pm he stopped breathing, no final big breath, it just ceased, his heart beat to 16, 8 then nothing...My daughter had his hand and at his last breath his hand squeezed then went limp, She said, mom I felt his spirit leave...........The years of struggle and pain over...... I tearfully placed a period at the end of this chapter in my life named "Cowboy and Lady J". But he forever will have a sunny little room in my heart and in my childrens, and grandbabies (there peepaw/ grandpa). His funeral is thursday in St. james, MN thank you all for the many many letters, prayers...
PLEASE PLEASE if you smoke try that new pill to stop....
God bless you all Sorry gfor all the spelling errors I didnt see spell check and Im to tired to reread all this... Mattie Jane
I sit here stunned after reading all that you and CB had to go through. I am so sorry for your loss and pain. I will be praying that your memories of happier times helps to ease the very sad time you are going through now.
You have my deepest sympathies. I too am so sorry to hear what CB had to endure at the end. I am gald that you and your kids got to be with him as it sounds like you all had a special bond of love between you and I am sure it was of comfort to him to have you all there. I will continue to send prayers to help you get through these tough days. JanMarie
I am so sorry to hear about Clint's struggles. They (nurses and doctors) say that there is nothing more terrifying than being "air hungry". I too had a Cowboy and our life together was short. I hate cancer with a passion and am making it my life's mission to make a difference. In time, perhaps, you too will be able to turn your grief and sadness into anger against a disease that has robbed so many families of loved ones. You too can fight back. But in the meantime, get rest and spend time with your kids. You all have been through hell and need eachother and down-time. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and send love, peace and hugs to you....
My sincerest sympathies to you Lady J.
I know you're heart is breaking and all the bad parts are fresh in your mind.
I pray you can find some peace one day knowing he is no longer suffering.
It is a horrible disease and it takes too many too young.
Just remember your love for one another and all of the good times you've shared. And love those you have in your life now.
God Bless you.
I am sitting here crying after reading your story - I am so very sorry that CB and your family had to go through that rough period. But know this that CB is in a better place free of any pain and suffering and cancer.
I am sure he knew he was surrounded by people who loved him at the end...
A big hug for you and your family
I havent been able to sit at this Box, its a restlessness only those who have lost would know...I remember my first times in here, the comfort and hope I felt, yet in reading other stories what may be lurking around the corner, I had to read on even when it hurt...to have some clue how to fight this monster.... I am so thankful for all who come here and share, and love and pray and give time to make a difference in anothers life.
I am sorry you to have lost someone to this awful desease.June 12th... wounds are fresh...sometimes it feels like Im walking around with a big hole in my chest...numb. It is how death messes with my mind, one minute your here, the next gone FOREVER. My heart breaks for all the families that have to endure the pain and watch a loved one suffer....Again, you are in my prayers along with others in here.
My son said mom, you could have stood on your head, had the best doctors,the best of all things and still CB would have died at that moment he did, because From the minute he was born and God gave him the breath of life, it was already decided when He would take that breath away also. When I get to "shud'ing myself" I remember what my son said to me, and it helps ease my pain......