This week, we were in Beaufort, NC.
We had perfect weather, too!
Chad wasn’t able to join us for most of our excursions, but he did go to the beach with us one evening.
We took Haille with us, my sweet niece from Tennessee. She has never been to the beach, so we had SO much fun showing her around.
She informed me that she LOVED it — but could have done without the sand.
Me too, girl. Me too!!!
We took a ferry over to Shackleford Island in hopes of seeing the wild horses. No luck. We walked and walked, and found lots of horse poo — but no horses. I think the little chatty ladies with me might have scared the horses off if we did get within earshot. Some of our ferry-mates say they saw them — and if we had walked for 5 more minutes, we would have seen them too. Oh, well.
The girls did find TONS of shells there; and I”m happy to say that we started Haille’s shell collection off right!
We also visited the aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, the Beaufort Maritime Museum (arghhhh, Blackbeard!), ate lots of great seafood and logged a lot of hours soaking up the sun at Atlantic Beach and Radio Island.
Here – see for yourself!
While we were in Beaufort, Chad had a fall.
I heard a loud noise and ran upstairs to find Chad on the floor and a little confused.
From what I’ve pieced together, his right leg just went numb and he fell. Since that time (Tuesday evening), he’s not been himself. He can’t really feel his right arm or leg and is having more difficulty walking. He is also having more difficulty stringing together sentences; he just can’t find the right words.
For example, he was in a tizzy last night about not being able to find his eye drops. He was adamant that he needed his eye drops and they weren’t where he left them (on top of his dresser). He was getting very frustrated, trying to explain what he was looking for. I found the eye drops, and he just grew more frustrated, and told me he wasn’t looking for those eye drops. Finally, I figured out he was looking for his chapstick.
On Thursday evening, I called hospice after hours for the first time to inquire about additional pain meds. A nurse walked me through the medications in Chad’s comfort pack (a box of emergency meds I can use if he’s in pain or has a seizure) and we were able to help him feel a bit better.
On the way home Friday, I talked with our nurse and let her know the changes I’d witnessed this week and set up a consultation with the on-call nurse for today (Saturday). She came out and assessed Chad’s pain level and neurological health.
I knew something was going on. And after talking with the oncologist, the nurse confirmed that Chad’s new/worsening symptoms are signs for disease progression.
What does this mean?
Chad’s tumors are growing quickly. And they are causing pressure and swelling in his brain. The pressure is causing the numbness and loss of sensation in his right arm/leg, the word issues, and confusion. He is walking with a cane now, and drags his right foot. He actually has an abrasion on one of his toes from the way his toes curl under when he walks. (He had to remove his shoes at one point this week, in hopes of walking more steadily). He is unable to hold a fork or spoon properly, and is unable to put enough pressure on a pencil to make a mark or form a word.
His steroid and pain management plan has been increased. The steroids will reduce the swelling and allow Chad to have more quality time, hopefully. We’re still trying to find a pain management routine that works consistently, though.
We are almost done with traveling, as I fear that being so far from home isn’t the best idea in the world right now. The nurse and doctor told us that they were very concerned about us leaving again, but also understood what we were trying to do; as much as possible for as long as possible.
Every day with a meaning; every day a destination.
We are leaving again tomorrow for Tennessee, to visit Chad’s sister and brother-in-law.
We haven’t seen them since June 2009, and I am looking forward to having most of the Lanford Clan together for a few days.