Saturday, June 07, 2008


Right now it's a little bit before midnight. Yesterday, I took Pop to see his Oncologist for probably the last time. The CAT scan was taken a couple of weeks ago, and the results weren't good. The cancer is out of control now. It's taken over his liver, and it's returned to his lungs as well as his bone. His doctor thought we would tell him the news, but I thought it best if the doctor, Pop's daughter and I all sat down together to talk about it.

And so it went. Pop took the news without saying too much. The Oncologist told him that further treatment with the Tarceva was counter-productive now, and that it would only make him more ill and uncomfortable. It was a rather unceremonious end to a very good relationship with that doctor.

It's a very surreal experience, sitting with someone and listening as he is told that there is little, if any, hope, and that from here on in there is nothing more that can be done. It's hard to watch someone receive a death sentence, but it's even worse when it's a family member, and you were holding out hope that your care could matter in the prognosis. You think you can make magic, and it's terrible when you realize that isn't going to happen.

So here we sit, just he and I. He's sleeping most of the time. The cancer is visibly taking him down now, and he's lost most of his strength. He has to be lifted and assisted with most everything, but the medicines seem to be keeping his pain at bay for now. His breathing is very labored, and he has occasional moments of discomfort, but they seem to pass. Drugs are merciful that way.

This is one of those times where nothing is certain. By all appearances, this is a short-term battle now. No one with any authority would say what kind of time is left. His care will be transferred from the Oncologist to the hospice care professionals now. The paperwork is due to begin Monday morning, and the sooner, the better.

There's just so much to think about.


  1. I'm so sorry. Reading these latest posts about Pop make me think of my dear brother who died 4 years ago this month from an agressive brain tumor at age 44. It was so heartbreaking watching him suffer.

    Although Pop is not getting well, you have truly made a difference. I will pray for all of you.

  2. I know how hard that must have been Jimmy. Hospice will be a Godsend. You are all in my prayer's. HUG

  3. Anonymous2:48 AM

    My heart is going out to you and the family, but mostly to Pop. He has put up a great fight. I'm sure in his heart he is glad you are a part of his family!
    ((Pop, family & Jimmy))


  4. Jaime (ChaseNKids)3:00 AM

    (((Jimmy))) You are in my prayers. I wish there was more I can do for you to ease your pain. Please know that I am praying for all of you.

  5. Jimmy,
    This is always tough news and it's never easy to deal with. I hope and pray that Pop is resting comfortably and that all of you are doing well.
    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.


  6. I'm so sorry. I'm sure it's hard watching him go through all this. I have no doubt you have been a great blessing to him and have made things a lot more bearable.

  7. Jimmy, your care mattered/matters to Pop's state of mind. Very much so. You may not be able to cure his illness, but you have been a steadfast and loving presence when all else has seemed unstable and terrifying, I'm sure.

    I do know what it feels like to wait for the inevitable with a loved one. Its torture for them, and everyone around them. I think just having you there as you have been must make him feel as safe and loved as possible. Which, I would imagine, is vital right now.

  8. Anonymous10:17 PM

    Sometimes there are no words ~ only thoughtful prayers and hopes for peace and comfort during this difficult time.



  9. I wish you strength and peace in the coming days my friend. I wish for Pop to have as little pain as possible under the circumstances. I wish for understanding and love for those whose lives he has touched. Your in my thoughts and prayers on the smoke, your family and most of all Pop remains there as well. (Hugs) Indigo

  10. Just wanted to say that your care DID make a difference in the prognosis. He wasn't supposed to make it this long.
    More importantly, the time since he was diagnosed has been made incredibly better and more comfortable because of YOU.
    We have no say in the final date of one's death, but we do have a say in how one's lives their life. And you made it something very special for him. That is a type of magic in itself.



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