Hospice & Home

Last Monday’s post ‘Cancer will take my life‘, I wrote the following –

Cancer will take my life.  I have always referred to this cancer in my body as my cancer as it does not belong to anyone else.  My cancer will take my life.  Those pictures associated to last Friday’s post revealed just how much my cancer has taken over and my fight is coming to an end.  My body and mind are worn and it is time to prepare for what is ultimately to take place.

The family visits of past weeks are over and my body is tired and mind is ready.

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Image Provided by: Harbor Light Hospice

Hospice will begin this week and changes will take place in many areas for both Gary and me.  If you read my post yesterday, starting this week; the amount of posts will be reduced.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Now being home for a week, I feel much better being back in my comfort zone.  I am thankful to have spent time in the hospital, because I needed to be there.  I need to be home also, and I am certainly thankful to be back here now.

This past week I have I received much needed rest and Gary and I have started new routines based on my Hospice care.  The nurses and other associates with Hospice are wonderful and I feel very comfortable in their care.  This past week, though at times difficult both emotionally and physically; this past week, the transition felt right, certainly felt needed and I was ready for it.

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Emotionally I accept where I am in my life, what is left of it and honestly, I am ready for the end.  I know others are not ready for the end; it is coming and I find myself at times wanting to look at a calendar to see what date that will be.  I have no date, and find at times I am frustrated with not knowing.

Physically my body is beaten down by my cancer and as each day passes, so does some strength, flexibility and mobility.  I preform exercise at least once per day and sometimes twice to help slow down the deprivation taken place in my body.

Now that I have a ‘G Tube’ inserted into my stomach, I no longer eat by mouth.  All my nutritional needs are through IV as well as my pain medication.  Remember I also have a urostomy bag that collects my urine and along with all other outside aids, I have lots of tubes coming and going from my body.  I also recently was put on oxygen due to shortness of breath and the amount of effort it takes me to do small tasks; such as changing positions.

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Gary is here beside me always willing and able to take care of me with the small tasks to taking care of changing my nutritional IV that requires changing on a daily basis.  There are many other daily tasks he does to help make my life easier.  I eat lots of ice chips and if it has flavor, then it is like having a treat every day.  So, Gary makes sure I am stocked on ice, popsicles and the like.

The first week with Hospice has gone well and I am grateful to be home.

It feels like a dream

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Image Provided by: http://www.freepik.com

It feels like a dream

This reality of mine

For it seems only yesterday

My days were always full of sunshine

 

Now no matter the day

With the sunshine or none

I wake every morning

Waiting for the day to be done

 

For each passing day

Takes me closer to it

That all important day

When my breath is ready to quit

 

Each day becomes difficult

Some a little, some a lot

This is not what I envisioned

This is not what I had thought

 

It feels like a dream

This reality of mine

The daily pains, the daily struggles

It must be a sign

 

This body of mine

The look and the feel

My cancer in my body

It all seems unreal

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Image Provided by: More Sky

Cancer will take my life

In my post ‘I will see her again‘, I concluded with the following –

These family members know my life may be short.  The once small cancer that was found almost 2 years ago, is now taking over my body.  The treatments may help slow down the progression, but ultimately my cancer will take my life.

In today’s post, I begin with the following –

In last Friday’s post ‘…out of my nose soon‘, I wrote about a small surgery to take place to insert a ‘G Tube’, from my stomach to the outside of my body.  This ‘G Tube’ will provide me a way to release the pressure from my stomach and small intestines without a tube going through my nose.  This ‘G Tube’ should bring me some relieve, however it brings on a whole another set of challenges.  With this tube, I will no longer eat through my mouth; but instead through an IV.

The surgery last Thursday was a success and after several more days of observation it was time to leave the hospital.

I spent my last 13 days in the hospital and arrived home again yesterday to the RV.  I am very glad to be out of the hospital and to be feeling better today.

Did you notice the pictures associated with last Friday’s post?  JImage2ust viewing some of the pictures, some of you know, a few may not have figured it out, and it may be others are not ready to accept or acknowledge.

I did not need to write the words, the associated pictures displayed the words in plain for all to see.

I left the hospital yesterday and now am back home in my RV to start my Hospice care.

Cancer will take my life.  I have always referred to this cancer in my body as my cancer as it does not belong to anyone else.  My cancer will take my life.  Those pictures associated to last Friday’s post revealed just how much my cancer has taken over and my fight is coming to an end.  My body and mind are worn and it is time to prepare for what is ultimately to take place.

20170416_194313 (2)The family visits of past weeks are over and my body is tired and mind is ready.

Hospice will begin this week and changes will take place in many areas for both Gary and me.  If you read my post yesterday, starting this week; the amount of posts will be reduced.

As always, I appreciate every one of you for stopping by each day to read and comment.  You my friends; your support and encouragement all have a huge positive impact on me.

But, now it is time – time for my cancer to take my life.

Daily Struggles

Last week was difficult.  Monday my mom, sister and brother left and once again my current life goes into the routine mode.  In last Friday’s post ‘…moving the fluid.‘, I wrote about the current troubles I am experiencing with regards to my lymphedema.

With only having 1 massage treatment, I do not see a difference, but I hope with continued treatments there will be some success in moving the fluid out of my body.  Image4Today I will have my 2nd massage treatment and should also receive my compression stockings which I will need to wear on a continual basis during waking hours for the unforeseen future.  I continue with my daily exercises for my lymphedema – these exercises also promote fluid movement.

The body pain I experience daily, is not becoming easier to deal with.  I will admit, each day is tough not only for me, but Gary as well.  Some days my inability to walk without significant pain is just too much for me – those are the days I question how much longer I can live this way.

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Image Provided by: moffitt.org

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with Dr. C. in the Supportive Care Medicine group.  Dr. C. manages my pain as well as ensuring my quality of life is the best it can be while I continue immunotherapy treatment and my battle with my cancer.  My quality of life at this time is not good and I need his help in making it better.

Most likely my pain medications will be increased again and my already lethargic days will increase in intensity.  I do a lot of resting, sleeping and very little activity now.  My energy level is basically zero resulting in very little physical activity.  I feel with each passing day, I am weathering away.  Now, I am unable to walk in an erect position due to tensed muscles in my upper leg/hip region.  With the lymphedema in my feet, legs and abdomen; my continued inactivity and lethargic, I have become stiff and basically my muscles are reducing in flexibility.  For me, just standing is a huge effort and walking at times wears me out and takes my breath away.

Lately, I am angry and upset my life has come to this.  My cancer has taken a once active happy person and turned him into a frail bitter person.

I am honest on my blog, I have always been truthful and honest and I will not lie to you now.

I am struggling daily and the inner strength is becoming dim.  Gary, the amazing man he is, is here for me in every capacity and supports me and my decisions.

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I wake each morning knowing what the new day will bring and go to sleep each night knowing the struggles I face.

I continue the current treatment in hopes there is some good to come out of what is very bad right now.

Honestly, I feel my days are numbered and with each passing day my death will arrive much sooner than much later.

I will see her again

From my post ‘Who is next?‘, I wrote the following –

Do I have other family members coming to visit?  Well, since you asked –

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Image Provided by: Kyrene Foundation

This coming Friday, my twin sister and my mom will be visiting. Another important visit I am looking forward to because my mom and I are close.  I have written many posts about the importance she is to me.  This will be an emotional visit because my mom, she worries like most moms do and I think she feels helpless.

My sister and I are twins and therefore we have a special bond.  I believe if that bond were broken in anyway, there would be a great loss there.  My sister has revealed to me she is heartbroken and upset and cries on a daily basis.

This weekend I will have special visits with special family members; both have been important to me throughout my life and especially now.

In today’s post, I write the following –

This time with my mom and sister certainly at times was emotional.  They were not prepared to see my body that has become weak and frail.  They were not prepared to see me walking will difficulty and needing the help of others with some everyday tasks.  They were not prepared to see me drained of energy, strength and vigor.

I felt it important for them to see me this way; to see how serious this cancer is attaching my body.

We had discussions about how the cancer is affecting my body and the current treatment and potential future treatments.  We discussed my daily struggle and my reason for fighting.  We discussed my possible decision I may need to make in the future.  And we discussed me dying and my final wishes.

We cried a lot, hugged a lot and enjoyed each other’s company.  I made sure they knew how grateful I was that they came to visit me and the importance of their visit.

My second oldest brother was here also to visit me and to spend some time with mom and sister.  Him and I were not close growing up and it has only been in the last couple of years we have connected in a different way.  I guess growing older sometimes bring people closer together and breaks down differences.

I cried in front of these family members on several occasions as I shared my fears.20170416_194313 (2)  Their comfort and support and love brought strength for both Gary and me.  Their time here with us will not be forgotten anytime soon.

The time came when we had to say our goodbyes, with the most difficult being my mom.  We both cried and I told her I will see her again.

These family members know my life may be short.  The once small cancer that was found almost 2 years ago, is now taking over my body.  The treatments may help slow down the progression, but ultimately my cancer will end my life.

Weekend Spent with Mom

You may remember in my post last week ‘Who is next?‘, I wrote the following –

This coming Friday, my twin sister and my mom will be visiting.

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Image Provided by: Pixabay

In today’s post, I write the following –

Because I will be spending time with my mom this weekend, I decided to take it easy here on WP.

I disabled comments for this post; I hope you don’t mind.

Thank you for stopping by today to read, and even though you are unable to leave a comment, you can still ‘Like’ my post.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

That Decision

In my post ‘Months not Years‘, I wrote the following –

Following my hospital stay, I had a visit with my Oncologist Dr. L. to discuss my options.  One option was to do nothing and the other option was immunotherapy.

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Image Provided by: moffitt.org

Concerning immunotherapy; any type of positive results is only about 15% – meaning 15% of participants will receive some type of response.  The response would be the slowing down of the progression of cancer to other parts of the body and/or stopping or slowing down the growth of the cancer cells.

So, I asked Dr. L. the question; how many years would my life be extended, if there were a positive result?  His response was that we are talking about months, not years.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Tecentriq is the immunotherapy drug that I am receiving.  In 2 days, I will receive my 2nd immunotherapy treatment.  The current treatment plan involves me receiving immunotherapy through IV every 3 weeks.  Upon the completion of my 3rd treatment, a scan will be performed to help determine the effectiveness on my treatment.

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The results of that scan may not provide enough information to determine if the treatment is working or not.  Another treatment round may be needed to determine the effectiveness – meaning 4 additional treatments then another round of scans.  If no determination is made in late August, then October will be the next time to make a possible decision.

What am I referring to when I write decision?

Since my first clue there was something wrong with me back on September 4, 2015; much has taken place.  This journey started with a discoloration in my urine.  Friends who have followed me for a while, know what has taken place since then.  Through all the tests, procedures, surgeries, treatments and appointments, one thing has stayed consistent.

The one thing that has stayed consistent, will play a major role in that decision.

That one thing that stayed consistent is my cancer has been aggressive in spreading.  That decision will be whether to proceed with treatments or let the cancer take its course.

I will be honest; I have always been honest here on my blog and at times blunt and direct.  In a couple of months, 20170416_194313 (2)I will be making that decision. Currently my days are filled with pain, and little activity due to my health issues limiting many things I can do.  Many days I remain positive and hold on to a glimmer of hope this immunotherapy treatment will respond with positive results.   Then there are a few days; I am ready to stop everything and let the cancer take over and seal my fate.

Currently the positive days outnumber the negative days.  As the days come and go, the date for that decision nears.

Months not Years

In my post ‘something changes direction‘, I wrote these words –

The results of the CT Scan and MRI came back with additional bad news.

My cancer has now spread into my bones and spine as well as additional Lymph Nodes.  It was only one month ago I had scans performed and these areas were clear and displayed nothing out of the ordinary.  The doctors are amazed at how quickly my cancer has spread.

So, what comes next?

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Image Provided by: WallpapersCraft

In today’s post, I write the following –

It was about 3 weeks ago, I received the news my cancer had spread into my bones, spinal cord and additional Lymph Nodes.

Following my hospital stay, I had a visit with my Oncologist Dr. L. to discuss my options.  One option was to do nothing and the other option was Immunotherapy.  Concerning Immunotherapy; any type of positive results is only about 15% – meaning 15% of participants will receive some type of response.  The response would be the slowing down of the progression of cancer to other parts of the body and/or stopping or slowing down the growth of the cancer cells.

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Image Provided by: flickr.com

So, I asked Dr. L. the question; how many years would my life be extended, if there were a positive result?  His response was that we are talking about months, not years.

It is mid-July and sometime in late August scans will take place to compare to previous ones.  What will they reveal?  Any changes?  We will find out soon enough and further decisions will be made.

Whatever those results and decisions, my time is limited to months not years.  I know this and Gary knows this as does my family.

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I will continue to write and publish posts until it comes a time I am unable to do so.

Today is not that day

Today is the 26th month of my blog! My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

26 (# of months) + 7 (month) + 13 (day) = 46

If I go back to my 46th post and pick the words corresponding to 26, 7 & 13.

Here are those words –

When, His, Today

Now use these words as the first word of a sentence and write a poem.

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When will the story be told
His story
Today is not that day

When will the truth be revealed
His truth
Today is not that day

When will the experiences be provided
His experiences
Today is not that day

When will the life be exposed
His life
Today is not that day

When will the last breath take place
His breath
Today is not that day

When that day arrives; it being sooner or later
His life will be revealed
Today is not that day

When they read his story; the one being told now
His true self may be shocking, or may be predictable
Today is not that day

When he is gone, never to return
His story will be left here
Today is not that day

Today he continues to write for as long as he can
His thoughts continue to be placed into words
When it is time to say goodbye, you will know

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Today is the 26th month of my blog! My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.