daily update 9.30.2010

* I understand that these entries are increasingly difficult to read. As the following days increase in difficulty and emotions, so will my words here. I apologize in advance. These words are my outlet. This site is a window to my soul. And this experience, this record keeping, is for my memory and for the closure that my children will need at some point in their lives. I appreciate you sharing the journey with us, but understand if you are unable to keep reading. *

Chad’s fever spiked yesterday to 102.6.
It came down when the nurses administered ice packs and Tylenol.

He was minimally responsive yesterday evening and last night.
He attempted a few words, and even smiled at us once.

He slept soundly all night, but the fever crept back.

At 5am this morning, his fever spiked to over 103 degrees.
Although he is mostly unresponsive, you can tell that the fever is taking a toll on his tired body.
More ice packs. More Tylenol.
Fever lessens.

Now, at Noon, he is warm to the touch – but not blazing hot as before. He’s down to 101.2 degrees.
He is restlessly moving his legs.
Yesterday, he had a lot of difficulty swallowing his oral medications (morphine & Ativan), so the morphine is now given as a suppository. It’s long-acting; only twice a day.
A few moments ago, while he was moving his legs and letting out a few guttural sounds, I asked if he was hurting.
He was unable to answer – a blank stare.
Then I gave him my hand, asked him to squeeze it if he was in pain.
Squeeze, he did.
I hate the thought of him hurting and being unable to tell anyone about it.

In the last couple of days, I’ve noticed a dramatic change in his appearance.
His legs have always been skinny – but his calves are more like skin and bones at this point.
His thighs, which were still quite muscular until recently, have drastically changed in the last 72 hours. They are slender, almost hollow-looking. There is no muscle tone – arms, legs. There is nothing.
His jaw and chin are slack – he has a hard time closing his mouth all the way, especially while sleeping.

The gentle gurgle in his throat is increasing.
Sometimes it’s louder than other times, but it’s always there.
We often position his headboard upright to lessen the effects of gravity on his lungs and to keep him from choking.

He is unable to swallow an ordinary amount of liquid, and even small amounts are hard for him.
The straw confuses him and he’s not able to close his lips around a bottle or cup.
I’ve been giving him small pieces of ice to keep his mouth moist. He seems to appreciate that.
Bites, swallows a small amount at a time.

Yesterday was a hard day.
Not only did I relive one of the most difficult days of our lives so far, but we also received confirmation of something I had already suspected. Something I already knew deep in my broken heart.

Chad’s doctor came by yesterday, around lunch time.
She explained the current symptoms; the difficulty in taking concentrated oral medications, the sudden fever, the labored breathing sounds, the lack of food & liquid intake, the loss of interest to leave the bed, the decreased urine output…
Chad’s fight is almost over.
His journey here on earth will likely be finished within a few days.

Even though I knew what to expect in terms of a timeline, I was still shaken when the words came from the doctor’s mouth.
“We are entering Chad’s final days.”
It stung. Even though I knew it already, it still hurt to hear it outloud.
When someone says something aloud, it makes it more real, more true.
My guarded thoughts, the conclusions of my heart, were not quite reality.

I’ve been crying off and on since last night, a catharsis.
I had a terrible dream last night – which I’m sure is common under stress. I just usually have such peaceful, wonderful dreams.
And I wasn’t sure if I was awake. Or just hurt. Or just aching for something other than my own reality.

There are so many emotions, an avalanche of feelings.
Although I have prepared myself for these moments the best I possibly can, I do not think I can ever be fully prepared for the loss of my husband, my best friend, my confidant, the father of my two best blue-eyed accomplishments.
I don’t think you can ever be ready, truly ready, for that.

You can prepare.
You can do and say and be the right things.
You can welcome the emotion and accept the sorrow.
You can wait. And hold hands. And love with every last ounce of joy, hope and faith that you contain.

But be ready?
I just don’t think so.
But I’m trying.

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23 Responses to daily update 9.30.2010

  1. Wendydunn2002 says:

    Know that God takes his best angles to heaven and that is where Chad with be. At peace with God looking over you and the girls feeling no more pain. We cannot choose our timing and wonder why…why so young..with so much more to live. But Chad must be one of those very special souls that earned him an early entry into heaven. His work here on Earth is done and God wants Chad to be with him. Know that your lives will forever be touched by Chad and know his presence when you look into your beautiful babies eyes. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Wendy

  2. Heelhome1 says:

    You are doing extremely, wonderfully, fantastically, amazingly well with this journey. There are no rules, no guidelines to follow except those that you determine to be right. Hold tight to the memories and know that the love will always, always be there. I love you.

  3. Rob says:

    I love you Skye.If you need or want me to stay with you and chad,please let me know.The Angels are with you and Heavens door is open.

  4. Cathy Shepard says:

    Skye I wish there were some magic words that could take your pain away. My heart is so full just reading your journal everyday. May the comfort of family and friends continue to help you through this difficult time. I read this the other day – The Gift of Time We Cherish, The Gift of Life Goes Fast; The Gift of Love Will Never End As Long As Memories Last.

  5. Amy says:

    You are so right noone can every be ready. I agree hearing the words outloud do have more affect than knowing them or reading them. I check this blog everyday to see how all of you are holding up, to be amazed at how much longer Chad fights, and as long as you write it I will read it. I let my mom know when you update, sometimes I tell her a summary of it. I always tear up when the words that you write come out of my mouth. I pray that Chad recieves his well earned peace & strentgh for you.

  6. Kirsten says:

    Dear Skye,

    You do not know me, but you know my sister, Bevin. She passed along your blog and I have been reading it daily. I have also passed it along to my church family, as well as to some close friends.

    We may not know each other at all, but I feel that your family as become a part of mine. We pray for Chad, you, and the girls. We pray for the hospice workers, the maintainance staff, the friends and family that take care of your friends and family. Please know that as you enter these next few days, we are interceding for you. We are loving your family.

    I know that Chad will find peace and rest in heaven. It is my prayer that you and the girls will also find some peace and rest.

    In His Love,

    Kirsten Miller

  7. Jimmy Fussell says:


    You don't know me, but I was fortunate enough to have worked along side Chad when he worked as summer help for the resident engineer's office in Clinton back in the late 90's.

    I remember him speaking of you as his girlfriend at the time and I had no idea you two would be married or have two beautiful daughters until recently. If memory serves me correct…..he said your dad is a pilot and I assumed that's how you got your name?

    I just wanted to say that Chad was a pleasure to work with back then. He totaly amazed me with all the computations he could do in his head when we were staking out fine grades for Hwy 24 bypass near Kenansville.

    We had to keep all our grade work recorded in a pay record book and we used a calculator to add up the cuts or fills. Chad is the only one I ever saw that did the cuts and fills in his head continually? He could call them out quicker than I could punch them in the calculator!!!LOL

    To say the least, I was amazed at this young man's intellect and work ethic. And from reading your online journal I can tell he found his equivalent in you.

    I just wanted to say a kind word and maybe even bring you a smile in your time of despair. I can tell you that everyone of us out of that office that had the priviledge to work with Chad will always have a smile in our hearts when we think of him.

    I know I can speak for everyone out of our office when I say our hearts go out to you.

  8. bbraswell says:

    My husband Travis works at the DOT and shared your blog with me. We are praying for you, Chad, and your girls daily. My heart just breaks for you all and I am praying for God to give you strength and to give Chad comfort and peace.


  9. Candlesurgonnalove says:


    I don't know you but I know Debbie Terry. Just wanted to let you know my prayers are with you. Its hard to let go of someone you love but I always say God has a reason for taking them from us. God must need him up there but just know he will be watching over you and your children. You guys will be together again one day. Keep your head up and take care of your girls. God Bless and Prayers are with you and your family.


  10. Rachael Thackston says:

    I am thinkng of you and him every second. I am praying for a quick and PEACEFUL journey home. HUGS.

  11. Shauna says:


    Please know that my heart and prayers are with you daily. I think of your family so often, and want you to know that if you need anything at all anytime, you can always reach out to me. Your strength is inspiring and I am constantly amazed by your resolve. May God be with you when Chad goes to be with Him.

  12. Iluvmybabes2 says:

    I am praying for you!

    “Rejoice with those who are rejoicing. Cry with those who are crying.” Romans 12:15

  13. Francine_mcallister says:

    Skye – there are no words that seem adequate to say here. All I can say is that I am so sorry and I am amazed at your strength. Please let me know if there is anything I can possibly do for you in the days and weeks to come.

  14. Bella says:

    Just to let you know -again- that I am thinking of you all and wishing you peace. Bella x

  15. Brenda Hendrix says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May God wrap His arms around you and comfort you as you face this difficult time.

  16. Misti says:


    I hesitate to comment…. because there are no words. Just pain, a breaking heart…. for a family I have never met in person. Thank you for sharing your life with us….. and thank you for the new appreciation I have for my husband. Words can never say enough thanks.


  17. Tdrf says:


    I am friends with Amber F and I have been reading your blog for awhile. Your courage, your fight, your strength inspire me. I'm so very sorry. You and the girls and the family are in my thoughts and prayers daily. May the Lord hold you close to him, during this difficult time.

  18. Slcabascango says:


    You know where to find me. Your family is always in my heart – every day.

    Thank you for your willingness to share your life with all of us who have had the privilege to follow your blog and be a part of your life.

    Much Love, Sherri C

  19. Lucy Shell says:

    I've been reading for a little while now, and found my way to your blog from another blog. I will pray for peace, comfort and so much more. I feel so privileged to be able to be part of your blog.

  20. Amy says:

    Dear Skye,

    You, Chad and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    You don't know me – I am a friend of Meg Wilson's on facebook. I have thought about you a lot since I started reading your blog a while back.

    You have created with your blog a beautiful thing for you and your girls' healing…and you have wonderful gift with the written/typed word.

    The coming days, no doubt, will bring sadness and pain. Hopefully this awesome blog will give you and your girls help as you heal.

    There are no words. Just know that you and your family have affected even strangers, like me. We will continue to pray for your strength and comfort in the following days. Weeks. And even lots longer than that.

    With love, strength and continued prayers,


  21. M. Sheets says:

    Wow Skye you have been given a gift. Your writing is so beautiful, it pulls you in and makes you feel you are right there. I know I along with others who dont even know your family( I found this blog on a friends FB) are praying for you and your family. I read in one of the blogs that you think you talk too much to your husband. I dont think so, I think he thinks he is one lucky man to have you to talk to him as much as you want.

  22. Allyson says:

    Your strength and grace humble me. I hope, as you enter some very difficult days that you turn your eyes to the heavens, just as your sweet husband is doing. I hate that your family has to suffer this, but the courage that you both are showing is an inspiration. Your love for Chad shines through in every post, as does your love for your daughters. I am praying for you all. May the days ahead bring peace.

  23. Thelma Bullard says:

    This is Thelma Bullard. I taught Chad at Stedman. He was a wonderful student and person. I love you both and have you and your family in my prayers. If there is anything I can do for you or for Chad let me know.

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