My children urged me to start this last summer - in 2021 - when I was diagnosed, and the cancer journey began. But, no. It didn't feel like it was time yet - that time when people set up one of these Caring Bridge sites.
In the autumn, when the radiation and immunotherapy treatments showed promise, again the kids suggested I use Caring Bridge to share updates. I liked the idea, but again - not time yet.
During the Holidays, all the grandchildren visited. Throughout the winter, friends stopped by with treats and hugs. Celebrated my 88th birthday with all three kids, together we made fondue! My granddaughter, Reaghan, baked a cake, decorated the house, made me wear a crown and sash all day - including to a doctor's appointment. Things seemed stable. All along, my kids took turns caregiving - shuttling me to treatment after treatment. And while the tumor grew at a slower pace, the God-awful pain increased steadily. Still, not time yet. Honestly, I wouldn't know what to say. Maybe sometime soon.
Earlier this year, the immunotherapy was suspended because I stopped tolerating it well. (Me? Intolerant?) Meanwhile, the pain medications were graduating - compounding actually, one on top of the other. Gabapentin doses in addition to Prednisone doses, fentanyl patches in addition to lidocaine patches. In late March, there was the harrowing helicopter ride to the emergency room, where we learned the tumor was growing again. In early April, there was the sad visit to the oncologist office, where we learned that nothing more could be done to treat the cancer. It was time to focus on comfort. It was time for Hospice. So here I am. It's time.
One or more of my kids is always here, along with a wonderful care team. Lots of puzzles, scrabble, naps and love! I miss seeing all of my friends, but I tire very easily these days ... long phone calls and visits are so much more difficult. I still try to go to church and have my fingers crossed (figuratively) for the Easter service tomorrow.
Please stay tuned here. Follow if you'd like. Add a story, a memory we share or a photo. I'm just learning how to use Caring Bridge, learning new things still! Perhaps I should have started this a while ago ;-)