Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

As of today, it has been six weeks and one day since home hospice began, so we are celebrating David outliving Dr. McFarland's prediction that David would last four to six weeks. David is still not quite ready to throw in the towel. It now seems probable that he will be with us for Christmas and not that outrageously optimistic to think that he will be with us to see the new year. What a gift every one of these extra days is!

He is certainly getting weaker and his steps are small and slow, but he's not bedridden. The other day he expressed an interest in getting out to see some Christmas lights, and at first, it seemed too ambitious, but I finally decided I'd be brave enough to attempt it as long as I had someone with me. Chelsea came over, and we slowly, carefully got him as far as the living room and onto a rolling desk chair. We were wheeling him toward the front door, again slowly, with many requested stops, when he decided he'd rather just appreciate OUR Christmas lights and not struggle to get out to the car. We helped him to one of the couches and put on some Christmas music at his request and had a truly lovely evening. It didn't even feel like failure. It felt like victory, because we'd figured it out and could have gone, but he was even more content being home, and what a treat it was to be able to sit on the couch with him, holding his hand. A year and a half ago, I had no idea how much I could appreciate something as simple as that.

He still prefers to spend the bulk of his day in the wing chair next to the bed rather than in the bed. We both understand the next step will be to bring in a hospital bed, but for now our bed is a crazy mountain range. There's a large wedge to allow David to sleep semi-upright to help with his breathing, and a smaller wedge to elevate his swollen feet and ankles, and in the past few days even the level spot between the two has been a bit too high for him when he tries to get into bed. So I took the 2" memory foam from his side of the bed and folded it over onto my side, which means I now sleep on a high butte of 4" of memory foam overlooking his hills and valleys. As long as he can get in and out of bed unaided we won't have to make the change, but it is probably not much more than a week away, if that, so I am savoring being able to reach out in the middle of the night to touch his shoulder or hold his hand.

We'll take advantage of some family muscle right after Christmas to shift a few things a bit in preparation for the hospital bed. We may need a few more hands if we're going to budge our massive king bed without taking it completely apart, so if you happen to be local, extremely buff, and willing to help for half an hour or so, do let me know. 

I loved these closing lines from some friends' Christmas letter, so in case you may too, I'm going to offer you the same blessing: "May the God of hope, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of peace, illuminate your hearts this season and ground you and yours with the peace, hope and love that was born unto us that Christmas night so long ago." 

Wishing all you dear ones the very best this holiday season!
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