May 31, 2009

Here's some food for thought...

What if you got sick? What if it came down to you making a choice? This is the choice I am speaking (writing of). If you got too sick to do radiation and you tumor in your throat was getting bigger, would you take a chance on a larengectomy (sp), knowing that you will never eat food again? You will also never be able to speak with your own voice again. You will have an electronic voice. Think about never being able to eat a nice greasy sub with ff again. Bacon and eggs. Just cans of food being fed through your stomach. The plus side? You will be well. The cancer will be gone. You would be able to walk your dog. You will get your strength back. Is that an option you would consider. This person is saying no. They have a love of food. I just don't think they will be able to start radiation until this MRSA infection is gone, which can take up to 10 more days. The weight is dropping steadily. I am watching someone I love suffer tremedously. The tumor is right below the epoglottis and above the esophagus. Not a great place. The bottom line. Would you want to live if you could never eat again?


the walking man said...

Lori...The question comes down to the quality of life. Not for you or for BP but for him. If they do this surgery is it a 50, 75, 100% chance that they will get it all? If the infection goes away within two weeks is there a chance that the cancer will not return after the radiation?

You put this in terms of if it were me (you)...I know my wife would want what you want but I think if after evaluating all of the options that are presented to me and if the only things I would be missing were eating food and talking with my natural voice I would probably let them cut me again. But if by cutting me I had to be bagged to crap and piss or if I would need constant care or my life was only prolonged by a year or two I would not postpone the inevitable.

I would not want to drag my family through the long torturous path of watching me die slowly.

What I would do (as my parents before me) is make arrangements for my body to be taken to a university hospital to be used by medical students, I would take the mortal time left me and arrange my affairs and wait the moment of my death in as pain free a way as possible. I would sit in the sun and thank God for the life I have lived and find myself at peace that i have actually lived it and did not let it pass me by.

God is with you Lori, seek that peace and walk the road as you have been doing.

Lori said...

Thank you. My problem is that the local hosptpitals have been tossing him back and forth to the VA hospitals, and during that course MRSA (staph) was caught as well as pneumonia. So they discharded him with all the wrong medical supplies etc. Thankfully the home nurse has sense and showed me how to do IV anti-biotics. He is not in his right mind, because he is losing alot of blood daily. When the coughing fits start, so does the blood, thick blood with tissue and tumor pieces. It is killing me. BP watches him while I work. My employers are understanding. I see the lack of spirit. He was so disoriented yesterday he pulled out the needle for his central line and his wound vacuum. Hence, he missed last nights antibiotics. He couldn't understand why. He doesn't remember ripping out the Huber needle from his port. This is consuming my every waking minute. His brother and I are filling out the medical power of attorney forms today. We have put it off out of respect. He is suffering terribly. Nothing is easing it. I gave him my word that if he got sick he could die at home. Peacefully. This isn't peaceful Mark. This is agony, because the tumor is below his epoglottis and above his esophagus. This man loves food. But the suffering has to stop and if a larengectomy will make it stop than so be it. His brother and I do his treatment as a team. He needs to be back in a hospital. His care is too much for me. He doesnt' even want to take his morphine anymore, unless absolutely necessary. The home nurse pulled me aside and said she doesn't think he is going to be with us long. These home RN's are angels. That is where I stand today. We are making a decision today after talking to the nurse when she comes. Thank you so very much for lending me your ear and advice. I am 42 and scared. We have been together for 19 years. Married for 11. I am going to write my form of a poem today while he is still asleep. My free time is very limited.

the walking man said...

When next you have the nurse there if she is not a hospice nurse ask her to put you in touch with hospice. They are all about quality of end of life.

This one is in Central Georgia I don't know where exactly you are but they will help tremendously.

This is never easy especially at this age but now is the time for action you can rest when everything is settled one way or another. Go have a smoke, say a prayer, tell God you want determination to match his own and move forward in that strength.

Lori said...

Thank You.