Verne Schnaidt Verne’s last adventure

First post: Jan 22, 2022 Latest post: Feb 19, 2022
[This site was created in 2016 after Verne's first stroke and updated in January 2022]

2022: Please click the READ MORE link at the lower right to open this page so you can learn VERNE’S STORY about how he got to this point. And read JOURNAL entries about Verne's progress. Feel free to leave comments at the end of any JOURNAL entry, and share your own stories about Verne on the WELL WISHES tab on the menu above (scroll right if you are on your phone). And check out the GALLERY for photos of Verne, past and present. 

On January 20, 2022, Verne entered hospice care at home after a rare and aggressive skin cancer on his scalp spread to his lungs, and he experienced a mild stroke.  His mood is joyfully serene as he steps into this last stage of his life. 


This Caring Bridge site is part of Verne’s "Wakeful Wake" - a celebration he can participate in.  Your love, support, and words of encouragement are truly appreciated - especially your memories and  stories for Verne to read/hear during his ongoing Wakeful Wake. 

Our Part
His wife Debbie will post JOURNAL updates on his progress, and Bev, a family friend, will step in to help facilitate when needed.

Your Part
Look for the WELL WISHES tab on the menu above - it has a little heart with it and if you're on your phone, you'll need to scroll to the right to find it. Post your story there and be sure to read through the other stories and memories!

Future Memorial
This Caring Bridge site will be the only public memorial to Verne. It is Debbie's hope that that this virtual experience provides solace for all. It is  an opportunity to support Verne and Deb with your love and memories, and also to memorialize Verne and find closure for yourselves.

*** Notes About This Site
The TRIBUTES tab is about monetary donation to Caring Bridge to support this site. This has been taken care of - it is not necessary for you to donate to Caring Bridge. At this point we are not using the WAYS TO HELP function of the site. Your presence and stories here are how you can help.

Now, on to the story of how we got here ...

“He’s lived a fulfilled and adventurous life with many incredible and loving family and friends. He made me want to be a better person. I'm grateful to have had 37 amazing years with Verne and I am honored to be able to help him with the last stage of his life.”

As many of you know, Verne has had various challenges with cancer over several decades. Since the 1990s Verne has had

 * one or more MOHS surgeries for skin cancer each year 
 * chemo and radiation for lymphoma in his skin (2006) 
 * surgery and radiation for the same skin cancer that is attacking him now (summer 2010)
 * two strokes two weeks apart (November 2016, see story below) 

Verne recovered fully from each of these, with only a tiny decline in short-term memory from the strokes. Other than the strokes, each of these can be directly attributed to his lifelong work and adventures in the sun — in our opinion even the lymphoma in his skin is due to sun exposure. 

During the worst of COVID, Verne was hospitalized three times. Each of the 2020 hospitalizations were directly attributed to Verne’s COVID-isolation-depression, thereby affecting his decision making. 

In the fall of 2021, Verne had two MOHS surgeries  to remove a large area of rare and aggressive skin cancer from his scalp. A subsequent in-patient reconstructive surgery grafted skin from his leg to repair the area. 

Between surgeries Verne and Deb started the process of moving from San Jose to Citrus Heights, near Sacramento, so Deb could retire. She retired two months earlier than planned, to handle selling the San Jose house, buying the Citrus Heights house and moving - all while taking care of Verne after surgery. They moved into their new home the day before Thanksgiving. 

By early January, the cancer had spread to Verne's lungs and by mid-January the oncologist confirmed there was very little that could be done. The recommendation by the oncologist and Kaiser’s Sarcoma Board was home hospice. At that point, there wasn’t a rush for hospice because Verne wasn’t in pain and was still relatively symptom-free. 

On January 19, 2022 — less than five days later and before hospice could start — Verne experienced a stroke and was taken to the hospital. Arrangements were quickly made and he went home that same evening on home hospice. His brain was unaffected but his right hand and leg are extremely weak. Therefore he is bedridden. 

Continue on to the JOURNAL for updates. Select the READ MORE link there as well, to read the entries in chronological order. 


 Looking back to Deb’s Caring Bridge story after Verne’s 2016 Stroke....

Friends and Family, 

Verne continues to have confusion, sometimes worse sometimes better. Although he's very capable of carrying on a conversation, laughing and joking, this hides the fact that he has a great deal of trouble answering the mini mental test questions; where are you, what month is it, what year is it, why are you in the hospital? He also has difficulty making decisions; do you want to sit in the chair or lay in the bed?  

 His cognitive ability varies throughout the day. Sometimes poor, sometimes so-so, other times excellent. This isn't unusual. 

These things demonstrate that his cognition is -- we hope temporarily-- damaged by the bleed in his brain. 

The stroke caused few, if any, physical issues; his limbs work fine, his strength is good, his speech is normal.  He has some weakness that the PT is already working on. 

It is possible that with therapy to help his focus and his memory he could recover completely from the stroke. 

And this is the hope I hold onto.