The Final Chapter In The Life of Terry

It is 2:30 AM and I am lying here in my bed at my brother’s house on Aug 31, 2018 unable to sleep. It is exactly one year ago today, that Terry spend his last full day here on this earth, sitting peacefully in his recliner in our RV on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. I remember this day so distinctly.

Terry had returned home from the hospice house several days ago. That Friday morning Terry’s hospice nurse paid a visit to him and they had a candid conversation together. The hospice nurse being in this special field for quite some time knew quite well that Terry’s passing was fast approaching and Terry knew it as well and readily accepted his fate. Terry thanked his nurse for all the care that she had provided to him during his brief time under hospice. The nurse in turn said to Terry that she enjoyed caring for him and was glad that she was able to provide some comfort to him in his last days. Terry then replied back to his nurse that “He was ready…” and the nurse in turn replied back “It’s okay Terry.” It was like they had a special bond between them two of them…..both knew and had accepted that it was time.

As I sat there witnessing this conversation between Terry and his hospice nurse I had a lot of inner anxiety. Everything at that point seemed so surreal. How could I accept what was about to happen? I felt a great sense of helpless and had a feeling that I had personally failed Terry in some way to make him well again. I know in my heart that I did all that I could do in attempting to get him the best medical care possible, but it just didn’t seem right. How could this man of only 57 years leave this earth now when in the prime of his life! I didn’t want this journey to end. Being the control freak and the “take charge” kind of a guy that I am, I felt that if there was even a remote possibility of trying something new in the medical field for treating cancer that could extend Terry’s life even for just for a bit longer, then why not try? I know that in reality, we had essentially already tried all available medical treatments currently available and according to Terry’s doctor’s there really weren’t any other viable avenues to pursue for him. Terry’s cancer had just spread too aggressively throughout his body. I knew and had to accept at this point that all I really could do now was to be there for Terry in his final days and to keep him comfortable and to let him peacefully transition to his eternal life according to God’s plan.

I close this final full day exactly one year ago in Terry’s life by reposting for you the last video blog that he did back on Aug 25th, 2017, just one week before his passing. Even in the physical condition that he currently was in at that time, it was quite evident that Terry was at peace with himself and truly accepted what was about to happen. It is remarkable that he even was able to instill a little humor in his video by stating that he needed a haircut !

I am also including below, a copy of Terry’s last blog that he physically wrote on August 28th, 2017, just 3 days before his death. In this post he describes seeing “figures in the distance”.

Fears and Fogs & Alone Suffocating, grasping and seeing figures in the distance.

 

Then there is the choking waking me in the middle of the night to remind me it is time.

These are ramblings of a dying man, a man whose body and brain are tired.

And what about the vision, another sign?

A sign for what?

To remind me it is time?

There is that apple sauce going nowhere really no longer to serve a purpose.  Well the purpose has changed some and reminds me of the signs.

Remind me not to eat too many ice chips or drink too much water, because of time could come later.

To remind me it is time?

Fears and Fogs & Alone Suffocating, clasping and seeing figures in the distance.

Death

 

From that point forward over those last few days, I painfully watched Terry struggle to attempt to get on his laptop to write, but it had just becoming too physically and mentally challenging for him to do so. So ends the final chapter of Terry’s blog posts to you.

Luv,  Gary

 

 

Visits From Family Members and Friends… The Final Goodbye

From early June 2017 (Father’s Day Weekend) thru mid-August 2017, Terry received several visits to Tampa from immediate family members and friends.

I tried to go back into my photo albumn and pull a copy of some of the photo’s taken during these staggered visits.

It was so nice that all of Terry’s immediate family members had an opportunity to travel to Tampa to spend some quality time with Terry during his remaining weeks.

Terry with his 3 sons (Timothy, Tyler and TJ) on Father’s Day weekend in June 2017

Terry with his middle son Tyler and daughter-in-law, Tanisia

Terry with his dad, Don in late June 2017

Terry with his dad, Don and step Mom, Jan on the MacDill AFB pier on 4th of July eave to enjoy the holiday fireworks celebration.

Terry and his Dad, Don using their “matching walkers” to travel towards the door of Gary’s brother Jan and sister-in-law Gail’s house in the Orlando, FL area for lunch.

Terry with his Mom, Mary during her mid July 2017 visit.

Terry with his Mom, Mary and twin sister Sherry and brother Mike with Mike’s step grand daughter during their mid July 2017 visit.

Terry with former next door Dallas neighbors Jerry and Lisa and son Logan during their late July 2017 visit.

Visit in early August 2017 by Terry’s oldest brother Larry, sister-in-law Mary and nephew Jake and niece Ashley while Terry was in hospital.

Brief visit in mid August 2017 by Terry’s oldest son Timothy and grandson, Logan

Once again, so glad that all Terry’s immediate family members traveled to Tampa to visit with Terry for awhile in his last few weeks. I know it meant alot to Terry and also to myself that everyone came to visit and to share fond memories of their growing up together with Terry.

Luv.

Gary

P.S. There also was a late August 2017 visit to Tampa from Gary’s brother Jan and sister-in-law Gail from Orlando and also a visit from Vickie and George (Gary’s brother Randy’s former neighbors from Crestview, Fl who moved to Tampa) who met Terry several times over the years. They came one Saturday morning to see Terry while he was briefly in the Hospice House.

Also, below are a couple photo’s of Terry’s last visit with his family at Thanksgiving time (November 2016) in Midland, TX, just a few months before Terry’s major surgery in January 2017.

Post Rewind: Terry Trying to Cope With Pain (written and posted in mid May 2017)

Below are a few excerpts of a previous post and a video that was done by Terry back in mid May 2017. This was done about one month after we first arrived to Tampa and before the staggered farewell visits would begin to occur from Terry’s immediate family members from the mid June thru mid August 2017 timeframe. Keep in mind that what is written by Terry and the video he did was done approximately 3 1/2 months before his passing, when he was still able to get around a bit on his own although experiencing considerable pain. His cancer began to take a real toll on him from this point forward.

Words written by Terry on May 17, 2017:

In today’s post, I write the following –

July of last year in my post ‘Good‘, I wrote the following words –
I honestly feel many people don’t want to hear how others truly feel.

image1
I think out of courtesy to others we ask; especially those that are dealing with a physical illness. If I were to respond to the question differently and say “I feel very bad today, my body hurts and my bladder is burning and I am very tired.”, what would the response be? I do not really know. I doubt I would receive the same response as I do when responding with ‘I am good!”

Back when I wrote that post and up until recently, while in public I would pretend to be healthy, pretend to be happy, pretend to have fun and pretend to be normal.

Those days, they have changed.

I walk slower and usually am bent over – the lower back is always in pain and walking at times is difficult.

Yes, I have been out a little bit to explore the new surroundings in our new location. I take pain medication with me ‘just in case’.

While exploring these new surroundings, I see the other people, the crowds of people who are normal, having fun and seeming healthy and happy.

I have a sense of bitterness, a sense of hatred because these people are normal and living a normal life. These people are having fun and doing things, going about their lives and enjoying their day, each day.

After my exploring of new surroundings in our new location, after walking slower and usually bent over because the lower back is always in pain, I return home. The event of the day, just the walking results in more pain, more pain medication, a bad mood and bitterness.

I don’t enjoy my days, there are very few days I enjoy – I am bitter.

This has become my new normal life.

Video done by Terry on May 18, 2017:

On The Road Again

Hi Everyone !

Sorry for my rigidness in filming this selfie video. It was difficult to be totally relaxed while trying to film myself with my new cell phone that I barely know how to use yet, while trying to use stage props and to simultaneously remain alert and aware of the vehicular traffic all around me while driving.

Besides my you-tube video that I did while driving from Tampa to Fort Waldon Beach on Monday, September 28, I’m also going to include the link to the April 4, 2017 video that Terry did on this very same trip (but in reverse) from Fort Walton Beach to Tampa on the day before his 57th birthday.

Thought you might enjoy this past as well as the present video of the same road trip. How life has changed so dramatically from that past video to the present one.

 

Luv,

Gary

 

Bon Voyage !

This is a somewhat upbeat post. The video attached was actually taken by Terry back in mid December 2016 while we were on our 7-day Royal Caribbean “Oasis of the Seas” cruise to the East Caribbean. This cruise was given to us as a belated wedding gift from my thoughful brother Jan and sister-in-law Gail.
The idea was to give Terry and I a chance to take a little break after Terry completed his first 12-week phase of Chemotherapy at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola Florida and prior to his upcoming major radical cystectomy operation (total bladder removal) scheduled to occur in January 2017 (shortly after the holidays).

 

At the time that we went on this cruise Terry’s medical condition was not perfect. If you recall, several weeks prior to this trip and while he was already undergoing chemotherapy, a surgical procedure was performed to temporarily insert a tube thru his lower back and directly into his right kidney to help relieve some of the pressure and pain that he was experiencing. This allowed Terry’s urine to temporarily flow into an external drainage bag. Eventually, this drainage tubing was removed as it was not really giving Terry much relief and it was also  a bit cumbersome for him to comfortably maneuver around and to try to remain active.

While on the cruise we tried to participate in most of the activities  and entertainment offered and off course tried everyone one of the exotic tropical drinks. However, there were many times that we had to go back to our cabin so that Terry could rest a bit because he was experiencing pain in his lower back due to the pressure building up in his kidneys or having pain and cramps in his abdominal area. It was our hope that after Terry’s major surgery in January, eventually some of his discomfort would go away. However, even after his surgery and a few months after his recovery period, things really never improved substanially and unfortunately Terry’s pain and discomfort just continued to drag on right to the very end.

Ironically, at the conclusion of this “boogy blog video” you will not that Terry stated “standby for more boggy blogs to follow in 2017”.  However, in actuality, because of Terry’s rapidly diminishing health, this “boggy blog video” that he did while on our cruise turned out to be Terry’s very last “boggy blog”.  Sometimes in life things just don’t turn out the way you had planned

Hope you all enjoy this upbeat video and that gives you some joy and some comfort as it does me to see Terry smiling again and having some fun even for just a little while.

Have a great weekend.

Luv,

Gary

Quick Update On My Health Issues

Hey All,

Sitting in waiting room at the VA Hospital (my home away from home) these days!

(Dermatology)- Old Issue: The 2 cancer spots that were originally removed from my left leg about 2 and 1/2 months ago. These 2 wounds as of today are finally almost completely healed. No bandages required any more!

(Dermatology) – New Issue: Over the past 5 days I somehow developed an external growth on the very same organ that the urologist has been treating me for over the past two months via injections on Tuesdays and Thursdays to try to reduce the internal scare tissue that had formed in that same Organ. The dermatologist decided to remove this external growth this morning which resulted in me having to get 14 stitches to that very sensitive area. Now I have to patiently wait once again for the healing process to take its course. The area is currently all bandaged up. Unfortunately I can’t show you a photo of this wound area for obvious reasons as it would be considered to be pornography!

(Ear, Nose and Throat) – The constant pain that I was experiencing in my throat has gone away and the physical exam and CT scan of my neck and throat area as evaluated by the doctor was free of any cancer. So, I can cross this problem off my list.

(Rheumatology) – New Issue. I had a new bone density test done a few weeks ago as ordered by my Rheumatologist due to my existing psoriatic arthritis, osteomalacia and osteopenia. The results of the bone density test came back indicating a reduction in my bone mass in my left hip by another 6 % from the test I had done last year. This was a concern. Rheumatology wants to see me to discuss options for slowing down the bone degeneration. They are having me do some xrays of my spine today and to have me get some special blood work completed. Also have to get a dental evaluation and clearance before course of action can be established. I will see them back in a month or so.

Urology – Old Issue. Concerning the inner scar tissue in my private area. After two and one-half months of injections there has been no significant improvement. The injections have been stopped for now from Urology. I will see the Urologist again in early October when I return back to Tampa to discuss if best to continue injections for a little while longer or to undergo an operation which is more evasive to remove the scar tissue which has greater risks for other complications. Time will tell what’s best.

When it rains it pours! Getting old sucks!

Luv,

Gary

Terry Recording: Trying to Cope with Constant Pain while Facing the Unknowns of His Cancer Progression

This blog continues my tribute of Terry in honor of his upcoming one year anniversary of transitioning to his eternal life. In this series, I am attempting to post some of Terry’s previous videos and also to share with you some personal recordings that Terry apparently did which I recently found on his old cell phone. In this special series of blogs, I am trying to reflect back on Terry’s last years. I want to highlight some of Terry’s happier days while still being sure to include some posts about his tougher and more challenging days. By right we are all human and have good and bad days.

In this particular post, you will hear Terry feeling a bit frustrated about trying to cope with his daily pain and discomfort while not really knowing what to expect concerning his future survival chances as a result of his cancer progression.

Terry recorded this when we were still living on Pensacola Naval Air Station probably a few weeks after his bladder removal surgery.

Please disregard where Terry beats himself up about thinking he was always mean and unappreciative of me. He really was not! Yes, Terry was by nature a somewhat moody person and I’m sure that his medical condition made it much more difficult for him to be happy. However, One important thing that I can state is that Terry truly was a much beter person than I could ever be. He was always so honest and willing to admit his personal faults and to constantly strive to improve himself. When he did something out of line….he always was the first to admit he was wrong and to be the first apologize. I on the other hand often do not take criticism very well or do not easily admit my faults of which I know I have many. I can be a very stubborn person and often let the advice of others go in one ear and then out the other and to just continue to do things in my own stuborn way. Oh well, we are all different I guess which makes life interesting.

Have a great rest of your week.

Luv,

Gary

Terry’s Last Bike Ride

This video was created by Terry back in August 2016.  It was the very last time that he would enjoy taking a bike ride.  We took this ride just a couple weeks after we had arrived to Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida from Dallas, Texas.  I remember that it was such a beautiful day and what a great time we had bicycling all around the base and exploring all that it had to offer in terms of beautiful scenery and wonderful facilities.
It was our intent to bike ride on a regular basis. However, that plan never really materialized. This is because about a week or so later Terry began his first phase of chemotherapy treatments. Also shortly thereafter Terry began to have severe pains in his kidneys requiring a tube to be placed thru his lower back directly into his kidney to try to relief pressure and to allow his urine to temporarily drain into an external bag.  The bag was eventually removed and higher doses of pain medicines were taken to try to keep Terry comfortable.
All this occurred well before Terry’s major surgery in January 2017.  We both hoped that after his surgery, a lot of his pain would eventually subside and Terry would gradually feel better.  However, quite frankly, Terry really never felt very well following his surgery and since the pathology report after surgery revealed that his cancer had unfortunately already spread outside of his bladder, the pain in his kidneys and also a new pain in his abdominal area continued.  From that point forward we desperately tried to explore in conjunction with his oncologist and urologist other procedures and medical treatments that could be taken to possibly slow the progression of Terry’s cancer and to hopefully help to make him feel better.  Eventually that lead later to a move to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa so Terry could begin higher level care thru Moffitt  Cancer   Center.
Often times when I now ride my bike along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, I often think back to that beautiful day in August 2016 when Terry was having a good day and we were thoroughly enjoying our long bike ride. Sometimes when riding along Tampa Bay, I encounter this beautiful white dove that seems to want to fly adjacent to me along the shore line as I peddle.  I often wonder if this actually is the spirit of Terry watching over me to ensure my safety along my travels?
Luv,
Gary

Personal Recording by Terry about Our Inner Strength

Hey All,

This post continues my blog series about Terry as I pay tribute to him being that his one year anniversary of entering the gates of heaven is fast approaching.

Todays post is a personal video that I recently found on Terry’s old cell phone that he must have recorded sometime shortly after his major bladder removal surgery back in January 2017 while he was still recovering in the hospital.

I didn’t want to send the direct link of the recording to you as you’d probably have difficulty opening it.

So being the Tech Saavy person that I am (Ha Ha) I played the recording off of Terry’s old cell while simultaneously doing a video by aiming the lens of my camera towards my computer to photograph a very short video slide show of Terry that I put together. Then I had to send the video thru youtube and then forward the video from youtube to WordPress for publishing. I hope the recording is clear enough on your end to hear the important things that Terry had to say.

I think we can all learn a lot about the inner strength within us, that often times we don’t realize we have until a major life-changing event occurs.

I can honestly admit that after a year and one-half of helping Terry 24/7 with coping with his medical condition, I remained hopeful that Terry’s numerous surgical procedures, chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy treatments as well as numerous specialized doctor visits throughout this time period would ultimately result in stopping the evasive spread of Terry’s cancer. Unfortunately God had another plan for Terry and promoted him directly to the front of the line at the Gates of Heaven.

Just as Terry discusses in his video, in spite of all the trials and tribulations of assisting Terry with combating his cancer and now almost one year later since his passing….I, just like Terry did not realize the inner strength that I had within me to keep moving forward and to try to remain positive. I have come to realize that life throws us all unexpected hurdles throughout our lifetime and no matter how hard these things might be to comprehend, for some reason they happened for a reason as part of God’s plan.

So as Terry said in his recording, we all have to sometimes reach down deep within us and embrace that inner strength within that we never knew we had to help us along the way in our day to day journey thru life. Amen

Luv Gary

Terry Boggie Blog…July 27th, 2016

Hey All,

Being so close to the 1 year anniversary of Terry’s passing which occurred on September 1st, 2017, I thought I would honor him by intermittently posting over the course of the next couple of weeks some of Terry past selfie videos. Besides, you’re probably all tired of seeing my selfie videos!

The one I’m sharing with you today is a “blogger favorite”. It’s one of Terry’s “Boggie Blogs”!  This selfie was done by Terry while in our back yard in Dallas, TX on July 27th, 2016. It was just 5 days before we actually passed papers on the sale of our home and would be ready to travel in our new RV from Texas to our next adventure. Although Terry knew that he would eventually require major bladder removal surgery once established in Florida, we both felt that in spite of this operation being a life-changing event he would adapt and that all would be okay.

When looking at this video and how happy and carefree Terry appears, who would have thought that it would be just 1 year, 1 month and 5 days later that Terry would only become a fond memory and that we would all continue to have a deep love and admiration for him for his courage to try to remain positive while undergoing all that he had to go through and to endure. We miss you greatly Terry !

Have a great rest of your weekend and enjoy today’s video.

Luv,

Gary