2010 April 18
Created by Tom on 08/05/2010
Sunday April 18, 2010
Karen is flourishing right now, eating well (liquid diet, with a gastric tube she can drain her stomach contents with whenever she has nausea or GERD), good energy, showering love on staff at the hospital, etc. We spent about 4 hours outside in the sun by the river (she in a wheel chair, me gathering interesting natural objects for her; a woman with a beautiful small child who Karen engaged there said to Karen, speaking of the way she's often been glowing for several days, "You are SO beautiful! You really are!!!" which made Karen glow even more...). At dinner we had a conversation with her "prescribing physician" -- Yes, we have the death with dignity stuff all worked out -- and we'll have the pills probably on Tuesday. We leave the hospital on Monday (tomorrow) and she'll be getting hospice support starting as soon as we get home (including a hospital bed they install in her apartment, in space made by our friends Les and Ted today). Her new oncologist is fully supportive. I've been working very closely with the Portland office of Compassion and Choices (the non-profit who helps people who have chosen the death-with-dignity program) who are fabulously supportive, and they have a network of volunteers who help with the death-with-dignity logistics and delivery, with the Eugene contingent of whom we are already in touch. Although Karen is in such fine shape right now, I can even imagine the non-trivial possibility that her cancer is in natural remission. I don't expect that, but I can't write it off, either. We'll see. So far so good...
PS: My father wrote me about possible use of medical marijuana, and we tried that a year ago and Karen burned her throat, so stopped and wasn't interested in trying it in food because of her GERD. Given that she has a gastric tube now and doesn't plan on "pain management" (i.e., she'll kill herself before pain gets anywhere near that point), I don't think we'll be going there. But it was a good suggestion.