Steve’s Journey Ends – Steve passed L
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ~ 10:45pm.
I hadn’t posted the last update yet . . . I have been spending as much time as possible with Steve. Sunday was our monthly Family Dinner and all the “girls” were here as usual with their families and we enjoyed spending time together. When Steve walked up the stairs, he was unable to catch his breath and his heart was racing. For about 10 minutes, we turned up the oxygen and used a cold cloth on his neck. He was finally able to stabilize his breathing and his heart rate.
This episode repeated on Monday evening during dinner.
Then, Tuesday, during ‘Deadliest Catch’, it happened again. This time, we couldn’t.
I am so sorry . . . .I wish I could call each one of you individually to talk and answer any questions. . . and let you know that Steve read the website and was very touched by all of your messages. He was ready to go home and accepted God’s plan for him, whatever that would be.Steve's funeral arrangements are as follows: Visitation on Tuesday, May 29th from 2-8pm at the Elton Black Funeral Home, 3295 E. Highland Road, Highland, MI. and Wednesday May 30, 2018 at Church of the Holy Spirit, 3700 Harvey Lake Road in Highland from 10:00am until the time of service at 11:00am. A Mass of the Resurrection will be held at 11:00am. Interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. And arrangements are already posted on the Elton Black website at: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/highland-mi/steven-howard-7859108 DONATIONS
www.Caringbridge.org or Church of the Holy Spirit
Journal entry by Meg Howard — May 22, 2018
If you want a shorter version of these updates, just read the bold and underlined words.
Since Steve’s airways were reconstructed in early April, Steve’s breathing had been stable. . . . until it wasn’t. The week before his PET scan, Steve said that he was struggling more to get air. We went for his PET scan on Monday, May 14, as planned. The next morning, we showed up for his follow up bronchoscopy, curious to see if anything changed to cause the breathing difficulties. The doctor found that the left side bronchial stent had collapsed and was indeed blocking airflow into his lung. He said that he had a plan to attempt a correction the next day in the surgical suite.
Before the surgery, the doctor told us that this would be a very difficult procedure to perform and was rather risky. His intent was to use a balloon procedure to open up the stent and put another stent inside it, like a telescope. And the fistula (opening) had gotten bigger. When he attempted this, the stent expanded into the fistula. There is no structure to the airway any longer; it has been destroyed by the cancer. The tissue is more like raw hamburger, unable to be stitched together. Old residual tumor is brittle, also not able to be stitched or to hold any structure. The surgeon was unable to do anything. And there is possibly some connection between the airway and the esophagus. The right airway stent is still intact and is providing air to the right upper lobe, but cancer is also infiltrating into the lung.
At my last update, he was using oxygen mostly at night. Now, he is using it all the time. He is much more fatigued, he gets short of breath very easily, but his A-fib remains under control.
We have been talking about end-of-life issues, such as how he wants me to handle certain assets, teaching me how to do maintenance* on household items, talking about the memories, getting his affairs in order (reviewing the Will, etc.) and remembering relationships that we cherish.
· * I removed and cleaned the electronic furnace filters and reinstalled them myself today!
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