Friday, February 18, 2011

Surprise: One More Cycle

Kay went to see Dr. McCroskey Monday, and had expected to find out the results of her CA-125, discuss her phone consultation with Dr. Swisher (done from the funeral home in Oakland, ME last Friday by cell phone) who simply said go forward with the PARP infusions. This was no surprise as Dr. McCroskey had already talked with her about these issues. Instead Rob asked Kay to get one more cycle of chemo first. Her CA-125 came back unchanged at 10.4 and so Kay is now half way through her 7th cycle of her second course of chemo. Doing well as usual

The week has been busy, our first week back after 10 days in ME for me, and a week of California fun and ME mourning for Kay. I've been doing the same old things, work at the office, blogging on my health blog and staying busy. It has been fun to see Kay really energized about her work. She has been doing a project for her California high tech client Anritsu where she is creating a "new campaign that she is excited about. It's been a while since I've seen Kay as totally immersed in a crash project as this, and she seems really happy.

Louise was buried today, and Bill and Dad went to a small ceremony at the cemetery. The pastor didn't show, so Bill stepped up and did a prayer and officiated at a ceremony. He said all went great, and although everyone was sad, it makes things feel final. The burial couldn't be last week because the veterans cemetery is only open on weekdays, and everyone was in town for the funeral on Saturday.

Please continue to keep Horace (Dad) in your prayers, and of course Kay as she finished this course of chemo, continues on the PARP inhibitor, and we go about living life as fully and in the present as we can.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

An Outpouring of Love

Mom's funeral was Saturday at the Oakland Methodist church that was my church home as a child, and where Mom was very active in her younger years. On Friday there was a viewing and visiting hours at the local funeral home, and it was nice to see lots of family and even more friends. Friday was a really long and hard day for Dad. I left the afternoon session early to pick up Kay, Jean and Brett in Portland, ME. We got back for the evening hours and that was really nice.

Saturday the funeral service was really nice, and afterwards we had friends and family over to Dad's house where Donna Pullen, the wive of Dad's nephew Charlie, organized food and decor and with the help of lots of others there was everything for set to celebrate Mom's life. The house was packed and even uncle Deck, Dad's older brother who struggles with mobility came and participated. It was nice to have time with family I hadn't seen in years in some cases. Lots of love shared, and especially as the crowd thinned we shared remembrances of Mom and times together. Everyone was sad, but knew Mom was better off now, and we felt blessed that Mom passed quietly and peacefully in her sleep.

Today Brett, Kay and I had a 6 AM flight out of Portland, ME. We're home, tired, and bracing for a week battling jet lag. Please keep Dad in your prayers as tomorrow is his first Valentines day alone after 59+ years of marriage. Horace we pray for rest, a manageable grief, and renewed energy and a new life after Louise.

Thanks to everyone for your support and prayers.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kay's in CA, Ed's in ME

The good news is we're both with our Moms. Kay is in San Diego with Fay and Mary and they sound like they are making Fay's 81st birthday a great one.

The rest of the story is that my Mom is near the end of her earthly life. I'm taking the night shifts of sitting with Mom, and this leaves me lots of time to think and remember good times before Mom's last 12 or more years of fighting first multiple sclerosis and later throat cancer. Mom is resting very comfortably now, as she and we await her last breaths.

I think of years of staying at camp in the summer with Mom primarily looking after us. I feel blessed to have a Mom who while giving adequate supervision let me have free roam of the whole lake, lake side and surrounding areas. I played with friends and roamed literally miles through the woods, on the lake in our flat bottomed unsinkable and nearly untippable plank-built boat. It weighed hundreds of pounds and had a 3 horse power outboard motor that pushed it so slow that you could walk on the shore faster than it moved at full throttle. I remember Mom wishing I'd spend more time above the water than under the water swimming, but not complaining, just always keeping an eye on me.

I remember Mom saying, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Advice I have regretted not heeding more than once. I remember beans and hot dogs on Saturday nights, riding with Mom several times a day as a kid going to pick up parts for the mechanics at Dad's Ford dealership in Oakland before he moved to the business to Waterville.

Mostly I remember she always just knew I could succeed even when I was not so sure. I still hold Mom and Dad as the ultimate role models of how a couple should love and cherish one another, through great times, not so great times, and recently not very good times at all. They have been truly inspirational for me. Thanks for everything Mom. One of the last things I remember Mom saying before her prolongued seizure, and subsequent drug-induced unconsciousness here at the hospital was about Dad. She just said, in few words as is her style, "He sure takes good care of me." That he has. For many years Mom sure took good care of Dad and all of us when she was healthy.

Please keep Mom in your prayers. Pray for a quick and comfortable passing. She will die without awakening it appears and although I'd like to be sure she hears us all tell her how much we love her, I'm grateful that our Lord has given her this peaceful way to pass.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

More on Louise

I'm sad to say that Mom took a turn for the worse today. After a couple of days in the hospital after her seizure and diagnosis of a brain tumor where she was doing pretty well today she started to have seizures again. These began at about 9:40 this morning and she continued to seize almost continuously for over 2 hours. Despite being on phenytoin, and being given IV ativan the doctor was unable to stop the seizures.

Finally after starting a continuous infusion of IV ativan Mom stopped seizing but as a consequence is essentially unconscious. We placed her on hospice just yesterday, and now she is on IV morphine infusion as well as the IV ativan. The blessing is that she is comfortably sleeping, but the issue is that if the meds are stopped there is every reason to believe she will start the seizures again. The brain metastatic tumor is still there and not something we can help, so Mom will pass in the next few days.

Dad is coping pretty well, lots of family is here and Mom is well attended and loved, so she will pass comfortably and peacefully. Keep Dad and Mom in your prayers, and many thanks to all the SFM staff who are holding my practice together while I'm gone on short notice.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ed's Mom Update

I got a call this morning that my Mom, Louise, had a generalized seizure. She had been doing generally but non-specifically poorly for a few days, and this morning after a visit to her doctor had a seizure at home. It happened in the midst of a major storm, and the paramedics brought her to Central Maine Medical Center in Waterville. There she was found to have a major brain tumor, most likely metastatic from her prior throat cancer, and to have the equivalent of a major stroke.

I'm going to try to get to Maine tonight and tomorrow. I have a red-eye from Seatac to Newark and on to Portland, ME. Weather allowing I'll get in tomorrow mid-morning to Portland, and to Waterville by noon or so. More likely it will be delayed by the storm, but I'll get there as soon as I can.

Please keep Louise and Horace, along with Bill in your prayers. Pray for comfort for Louise, peace for the rest.

I'll post again when I can.

Kay finishes her last course of this cycle of chemo this week, and plans to visit SoCal next week unless a funeral in ME happens instead.

Kay remains well, is upbeat and her usual incredible self.