daily update: 10.06.2010

Chad has had a good day.
It was such a beautiful day that his friends & I wheeled him outside to breathe in as much fresh air as he could stand.
He soon began to nod off and rested well, a good hour and a half outside. Just napping.

Before he went outside, he had the chance to spend time with another friend from high school – and got to love on a dog that was visiting patients across the hall. He really enjoyed the puppy time, so I asked if I could bring Lucy to see him tomorrow. And he agreed. I was shocked.

I had to leave around 2:45 because I promised, after much pleading from a sweet six-year-old, that I would pick her up from school today. When I gathered my things, Chad motioned for me to come closer and kept repeating, “East. East.”
Took me a minute.
“You want to EAT, Chad?”
“Yes.” He said that in a ‘duh!’ way.
The staff gave him a list of options and I hope he discovered something he wanted.

There’s not a whole lot to report from today. So I thought I would do another Ask the Lanfords round.
There have been so many questions lately.
And if one person asks a question, it’s highly likely that others have the same questions on their minds.

What is the doctor saying?
In a nutshell, the last few days have been unexpected.
She is in awe, just as we all are.
And she also told me that there is definitely a higher power at work here, something modern medicine cannot explain.

Does this mean he’s getting better?
His body has the signs of breakdown, mainly the bedsores.
He is not receiving proper nutrition or blood circulation, and it’s a normal part of the process.
Chad seems to be in a cycle of good weeks and bad weeks.
Last week was apparently a very bad week.
And now he’s having a relatively good week.
It’s not uncommon.
He is young and relatively healthy, despite the cancer.
He has a young heart and young lungs. He could, possibly, be able to fight much longer.

How are the bedsores?
His ears are much, much better. The color is normal and the actual sores are almost gone.
His heels – they are still definitely there. They seem to be a little larger, and turning from purple to a dark red around the borders.
The one on his backside is starting to turn purple. But doesn’t seem to bother him!
The staff tries to reposition him as much as they can, but now that he’s moving around, he’s not too happy with pillows shoved here and there and everywhere.

What about nutrition? A feeding tube? IV?
Chad and I talked about this a lot.
And he didn’t want either of those things.
Or even Ensure.
He didn’t want it.
And to respect his wishes, as much as I would personally like to tape a funnel to his mouth and fill him with calories, I won’t.
Chad and I felt that it was cruel to fuel his body and provide energy when he has no way to expend it.
If he is hungry and wants to eat – then I happily feed him as much as he would like. And always ask him to take an extra bite, even if he doesn’t want to.
But I will not force him to eat or introduce any other type of nutrition.
He did not want me to.

How are the girls handling things?
They are doing remarkably well.
I purchased some books a few weeks ago that we have been introducing into the nightly reading routine slowly.
I highly recommend them to anyone facing the loss of a parent. Or even a loss in general. Each book is linked – you can check them out on Amazon.

When Dinosaurs Die
The Next Place
What is Heaven?
I Miss You
Waterbugs & Dragonflies
The Snowman
And Chad’s mom recently gave me a grief kit made by Sesame Street. It’s very well done – and while I can’t find the link to the actual kit online, they do have all of the materials online for viewing and printing. When Families Grieve

What are your plans for when things settle down?
I have no idea. I can’t think ahead right now.
No plans.
But, much to my neighbor’s delight, I am not moving.

Would Chad like visitors?
Sure. Absolutely.
He enjoys it.
And I think you might get a kick out of his Houdini-esque bed escape tactics.

Are you with Chad all the time? Staying the night still?
I was.
Now that he’s feeling better, he’s full of energy.
He’s just as spunky at night as he is during the day.
And that means I get no rest at night if I am there.
So, for right now, I am spending the days with him and heading home to spend time with Carys & Cailyn.
I have complete trust and admiration for the night-shift nurses. I know they will keep me informed if anything changes – they will call. And, with some luck and little Tylenol PM, I can get a good night’s rest to tackle the next day.

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5 Responses to daily update: 10.06.2010

  1. melynda says:

    ..thats a REALLLY great picture of him today…..that lil brother of mine can still be a PAIN in the ass cant he…lol….i luve u girl!!!!…Carribean….hooah!!!…:)

  2. TaraZ says:

    Thank You for all the answers!!! =-)

  3. Cathy G. Shepard says:

    Thank you for all of the answers to questions that I am sure all of your followers in your families journey have wanted to ask. I am amazed everday of your strength and courage.

    May the love and support of family and friends continue with helping each of you with Chad's peaceful journey home.

  4. Wendydunn2002 says:

    Chad looks so good in this picture. The fresh air must do him a world of good. I know that keeping this blog will mean the world to you and especially the girls. Just reading about how different people know Chad and understanding the connection, relationship, memories etc. Will help them to know him and remember bits and pieces in the years to come. They will have a connection that otherwise they would have been deprived of. Kudos to you for using your talents to give them this gift. I'm sure it has been therapeutic to you as well and hope it brings you some degree of comfort. Thinking of you!

  5. Laura Aponte says:

    Great picture of Chad! Glad that he gets to enjoy beautiful days like the one we had today! 🙂

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