Tag Archives: cancer

A New Year Begins

Happy New Year, right?   It’s obvious this is the end stretch.  Larry is barely coherent, and when he is awake (which is when we get him up to go to the bathroom or for meals), he gets frustrated at the fact that he can’t be independent.  So it’s good I guess that he does feel those emotions, and that he still does recognize us and can interact slightly during those times, but the most part, he’s sleeping.  And basically drifting away. 4:30 this morning, he had to pee, and then pee again around 6, and he was more animated than typical, and I tried to listen to some of the things he was saying to see if I could get anything from it, but the most that was understandable was that he had a vision, of something after school.  Other than that, it was not much sleep, as I had stayed up to get a NYE kiss with my one true love one last time.  I didn’t drink that much so no hangover to speak of, so that’s good.

We watched the Rose Parade (most of it I guess) and that was nice to have on in the background, although it was hard for both Fran and I to really cope during the day.  I find I do get into a mindset of pushing out reality and I keep my emotions in check.  But some things just will trigger me to sob and get uncontrollable.  I don’t even know what it is – I guess it’s when I let myself think about the situation, and the reality that I am truly losing Larry from the world, forever.  I want to believe that he’ll be at peace and feel release, but I am selfish and want him here with me for a few more decades.  But I won’t, and all these people who get to have their loved ones while I get mine ripped away.  They mean well with their checking in and ‘how’s he doing’ but all I really want is to say I fucking hate you all for getting to live your life and have fun and not have the reality of life shit on your face and smashed into every orifice so that you don’t forget.  It’s so fucking unfair.

Anyway, I played some video games today to just get my head out of things as it gets hard to watch TV and sit in the living room with the gang after a while.  I had bought “PC Building Simulator” on Steam and OMG this game is so therapeutic.  You basically are building, fixing, or upgrading virtual PCs and it’s just great.  Killed a few hours that way.  Besides that, it’s taking care of Larry during meals and when he has to go to the bathroom.  At this point, he can’t do anything himself, so we’re literally carrying him to a bedside commode for shitting, or using a plastic urinal container for peeing.   And inevitably there are spills, as well as wiping his ass.  It’s insane – I don’t mind doing this because it’s him.  The smells are godawful and yes, there’s blood.  But I love him and I actually do take my vows seriously to him.  I, along with Fran and Joel, are here to take care of him until his last breath.  It’s going to all-but-destroy us in the process, but Larry is someone who is beyond worth it.  It just kills me though when he can’t hold his arms up to feed himself, or can’t really stand on his legs, or rants about some thing (a pill, water, food) that is right in front of him but he’s completely unaware.   It’s just awful.

I’m taking the rest of the week off too – and have reached out to PwC to let them know I’m probably going to take a few weeks of leave of absence while this runs its course.

A Decade Ends

The end of this fucking year and decade.  The decade itself was probably my personal best decade ever as I spent it living with and loving Larry, the one I always dreamed of having in my life.   But it also is the decade in which I was on the path of losing him.  2020 may be when he dies, but he died this December, at least the full Larry we all love.  Yes, there are glimpses of Larry in who he is now, but it’s all mixed in with just confusion and exhaustion.  I miss him. 2019 tho?  Fuck this year.  Despite there being some fun stuff, this year has been too much and I don’t plan on recapping it here.  Just ugh.  Today, the hospice nurse Jennifer stopped by – Larry’s oxygen levels are low, as is sodium, so we have to try to work on that, but there’s the unsaid statement of ‘does it really matter at this point?’ She then basically told us that regardless, there’s not much time left – a week or so at this point.  It’s not surprising and i was surprised she even said 2 weeks.  We just can’t have him suffer.

Paras and Carey came by in the early afternoon.  They had indicated they wanted to yesterday, and this morning I texted them beforehand to let them know they don’t have to come over as I think I want most people, those who haven’t seen him lately, to have a strong, happy memory of Larry.   But they were okay and wanted to come, and I am glad they did.   It’s hard to see new reactions to Larry – they couldn’t help but cry.   Larry engaged with them a little, but at this point, he’s so out of it.  Nothing like when he talked a little to Stacie and Trent just a few days ago.  Paras & Carey had printed out some pictures from adventures and parties the last few years – it was a wonderful reminder of times past.  Afterwards, Sveta came over and hung out for a few hours – watching Annie with us and also bringing a ton of food.  Also we received a delivery from Katz’s Delicatessen in NYC, courtesy of Arielle of my NBC days!   So incredibly generous, and great for our NYE dinner.  Watched Yesterday as well as I was enjoying watching movies with musical numbers that Larry liked.  Not sure he watched, but you never know.  Fran and Joel went to bed around 11pm- I made it to midnight.  Wasn’t going to not get my kiss from my husband.

Coming Home

Larry came home from the ICU. It wasn’t until early afternoon, so we were able to spend the morning in the room with him (Alyssa, me, Fran).  Michancy left today, but she didn’t come in with us as her flight was in the morning.   She had had a chance to say goodbye to Larry the previous day, which of course is not something you ever want to have to consider.

Today, Larry was pretty with it and able to eat, which was good.  After lunch, we then got the process started and he was transported via ambulance back home, while Fran and I drove back and Alyssa was with Larry.  True Care hospice is who we’re using and they’ve been pretty amazing.  They provide absolutely everything you need and they delivered it.  An intake LVN helped get us situated at the beginning on site at home, and she got all the initial requests started.  Larry spent that first night back in our bed as that was what he had requested.  It was a hard night for me as I couldn’t sleep not knowing what he might need.

An RN came that evening before bed (very hot, btw) and he evaluated Larry more thoroughly.  Unfortunately, while Larry was okay (relatively), Paul mentioned that there were concerning things.  I think that was his way of saying Larry doesn’t have a lot of time left, which I understand and can’t deny.

Regaining Lucidity on Christmas

Larry was still in the ICU today.  We also learned he’d stay in it another night, with the plan to get him discharged from the hospital on Thursday around 1pm.  Larry continued to improve and today, on Christmas (Merry Fucking Christmas), he was very aware and with it. Obviously still tired as hell but much more our boy.  We spent all day with him. Alyssa flew in in the afternoon and made it out here at the hospital to see him.  Still coordinating with the hospice to get details finalized – we are looking at a 1pm discharge time.  The staff was nice to us that day as it was a skeleton crew and they were very lenient about letting us all sit in the room with him without a 2 person limit.   It was nice.  One time while we were out in the main hallway, we were surprised to hear Larry’s voice as he was out for a guided walk with the PT team, who walked him to the window.  His strength and awareness was just so much better.

The ICU team looked to see if they could find any pockets of liquid that could be drained to help provide relief.  They weren’t able to via ultrasound.  His discomfort is being managed though, so we should be okay going forward.

His father is setting up time to come and visit on Friday – so that’ll be interesting.   Alyssa is here so she can be the intermediary, which is appreciated.

That night, we went back to where Alyssa booked a hotel room – a Marriott right by Burbank Airport.  The hotel has  a Daily Grill restaurant which was open on Christmas, which was good.  Service kind of took forever, but it was good to be able to talk. Rained like crazy when we left, and I passed the fuck out as the night before I had not slept well due to the sheer amount of wine I drank.

The Battle is Over

We came back to the hospital in the morning, bringing Michancy with us this time.  She had ended up staying home on Monday (day drinking, eating, Netflix watching).  When we got there, Larry’s levels were improving but it was still a struggle. He had a bit more lucidness but there was still a lot of confusion.  Mila and Sveta came out for the day as well.  Dr Weinberg was who was able to come and consult, and we learned what we basically knew what was coming – Larry’s not going to recover or continue his treatment.  He is going to die.  Within weeks.  It is not a surprise to hear these words, but to say that my heart didn’t get ripped out regardless would be a lie.  We spent a lot of time that day with him, rotating in the room as only 2 are allowed at a time in the ICU.  Mila brought bagels and nosh, Sveta brought Xanax, and it was time for us to grieve and cry in the waiting room.  I’m writing this from Thursday (the 26th), so I have a bit of a detachment from the day just because of time and the interim moments we’ve had, but it was a horrible day.  Dr Weinberg sent a recommendation for hospice care, and we started that process going.  It seems like that will be a wonderful comfort as they will take care of quite a lot.  He will not have pain, and he will be surrounded by love.  As the day progressed and his levels continued to stabilize, his awareness was better.  He did ask what Fran and I talked about with Dr Weinberg, and I had to tell the love of my life that he no longer had any options and we were going to go home to live out the rest of his days. I had to tell him he was going to die.

Mila and Sveta both left after 3-4 hours, but it was wonderful they were there.  Michancy remained as she’s staying with us, and she and I were able to be there for each other.  We did not have  anyone stay over that night as it just isn’t really a helpful thing.  So we all headed back to home that night, and we ate leftovers from our dinner the previous night that we ordered from a nearby-to-the-hospital Izzy’s Deli, which was chicken soup, a French dip sandwich, and other leftover food.  That night at home, the 4 of us sat at the dining table and looked through pictures and told stories, laughing and crying.  Michancy and I also drank far more wine than we should have – but it was cathartic.  Larry will never be forgotten and has had an impact in so many lives.