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Most of you know Kathleen had surgery in June, 2015, for intestinal cancer. Immediately following the operation, doctors made it clear her cancer was stage IV, very aggressive and would return.
In December, doctors gave Kathleen high fives and hugs for recovering quickly and well. But last March (2016) she had emergency surgery to clear intestinal adhesions and blocking. It’s been mostly downhill since then: in and out of ERs and hospitals in Seaside and Portland, multiple trips to the hospital in Tillamook for fluid infusions, tests of several diets and blends of meds as directed by docs in Portland. Despite all this, she has lost weight, has stomach pains, vomits and is frequently dehydrated.
Kathleen returned to the hospital in Portland on Thursday, August 4. After five days of tests and consultations, doctors met with her, me, friends and family members last Wednesday. Medical staff made it clear Kathleen’s cancer had returned. When doctors asked Kathleen how she viewed her situation, she said clearly she understood she was out of options. And she did not like her life of hospital visits, saline infusions, soft foods and frequent naps. The party girl had no more party in her.
On Friday, Kathleen met with the medical director of home health and hospice services for Tillamook County. Friday evening she arrived home to enter the care of family and friends. We have supplies and training from palliative nurses along with many medications.
Kathleen and I have children, grandchildren and siblings who can help provide 24/7 care. We have a vast network of loving friends. And we are uniquely blessed that network includes doctors, nurses and others with extensive experience with the medical world. We’ll be OK.
CALLING AND VISITING
For the next few days, we would appreciate no calls or visits while we establish a household routine. Please check Kathleen's Story on this website for updates and to learn when Kathleen feels ready to receive your attention.