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Written by Lisa Rand (Judy's Sister)
As most of you are aware, Judy has been battling lung disease for close to 10 yrs. COPD complicated by Breast Cancer treatment in 2009 with radiation and chemotherapy, followed by a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease that has affected not only her lungs but all of her joints.
Judy was referred to Yolo Hospice 8 months ago and has been cared for by an amazing team which has actually improved her quality of life since that time with adjustments in medications and breathing treatments. She actually almost graduated from hospice at one point.
Buddy has been Judy's husband, companion, best friend and soulmate for closing in on 50 yrs, not counting the time they dated (since they met when they were only 14 yrs old). Buddy is now and has been Judy's primary caregiver for many years and amazing one at that.
Judy's end of life is closing in and yet her time left to spend with us is unpredictable. She is sleeping more and more throughout the day and her energy is in spurts from minutes to hours. It is difficult for her to get out since she is on oxygen 24/7 and gathering all the equipment to venture out is cumbersome.
As you know, Judy loves deeply all her friends and family and loves to see and talk to you all (an understatement). However, she often puts up a front and when visits or conversations are more then 30 minutes she finds she must rest or she may find herself exhausted and depleted of energy for the rest of the day. She has parts of the day that are better for socializing and sometimes there are no good times on a given day.
Judy's life has always been about her friends and family and always always being there for all at anytime. She would always pick up the phone or answer the door to extend an ear or welcome you into her home with an open heart. Her slow decline in energy and physical functioning has only been tolerable because she has such amazing people in her life and has still been able to visit with her friends and family and spend time with Buddy.
So now as Judy's strength and energy is declining more and more, the challenge is to balance and manage her time left on this earth so she can be with those she loves. Perhaps not on the same level as in the past but the love she feels is still present. So Judy's caregivers are attempting to schedule visits with friends and family in a manner that allows Judy to see as many as possible but also preserve her energy as well as those caring for her. Many are traveling to see her and so we would like to afford them as much quality time with Judy and Buddy during these visits.
This also extends to Buddy who is stretched in providing her care and managing all that they use to manage together. He needs support and we will try to communicate how you may provide that support in time.
So how can you all best provide support right now and perhaps communicate with Judy and Buddy? For starters " The Caring Bridge is a great avenue to share stories, express feelings and check with Judy and Buddy and for them to provide updates on her condition. This can be done by using the "thoughts and well wishes section." Post pictures if you would like to honor memories you have of spending time with Judy and Buddy!
No donations are needed for Judy's care. Buddy is quite the "chef" and meals are not a necessity at this time but anticipate this will be helpful in the future and will keep you posted. The calendar can provide you information about when there will be out of town guests which may help those of you who live locally to understand best times to consider when to call to talk or arrange a good time to drop by.
Judy is working hard to rest so she can spend time with all the many many friends and family that she loves so deeply! Please understand her heart is with you even if she is not up for visitors! You have made her life so very joyful more than even she is able to express! Truly she has had a blessed life because of all you! Her life will continue to be worth living as long as she can listening and talking!