Weekend Roundup 10.15 – 10.17.2010

I posted early in the day on Friday. Things were going okay.
Chad was tired, and I could tell that each day he was just a bit weaker than the day before.
He isn’t really trying to move around much in bed and sleeps a lot.
It was a beautiful day, so I opened the patio door to let the crisp Fall air in.
This is Chad’s favorite time of year, and I was glad the weather was so nice so he could enjoy it.

He had been sleeping so much that I skipped picking Carys up from school.
As luck would have it, he woke up about the time I would need to leave to get her, so I stayed a while longer.
I hate the thought of him waking up and not knowing, or remembering, if I was even there.
I will often ask him about visitors he had that day, and he can usually remember shortly after their visit.
A few hours later? Not so much. And I’m certain it’s the same way when I visit.
He knows I was there. But can’t remember if it was yesterday, last week – or if I’m still there, but in the bathroom.

He was looking out the door. I had asked him a few questions, about being thirsty, hungry, etc.
And he just started crying.
Sobbing so hard, mouth wide open.
Crying so deeply that no sound could escape his mouth.
A deep, soul-cleansing cry.

I turned off the bed alarm and laid beside him, holding his hand.
I asked him if he was okay, or if there was anything I could do to help, and he gently shook his head no.
We looked into each other’s eyes and cried.
I told him it was okay, we could cry together.

I laid my head on his arm, listened to his breathing and held my breath to match his.
We were breathing in sync, if only for a few minutes, until he started crying again.

I sat up, assured him it was okay to cry with me. He grabbed my hand, squeezed hard.
And I just talked.
About the girls.
About the stupid cancer.
About him being so skinny.
About me getting the rest I need to give him the best of myself.
About him needing to find peace.
About him hurting.
About him.
And I.
And us.
Our family.

He started coughing quite a bit Friday evening, but there was no noticeable rattle when he took breaths.
I also noticed his eyes darting as I was talking, but I wasn’t alarmed.
Lately, when he’s really tired, especially after receiving his morphine, his eyes make a similar movement.
I remembered it, but I was concerned.

And maybe I should have been.
I left around 7pm, and was sitting in my car talking on the phone.
Apparently, a few minutes after I left Chad for the day, he had a seizure.
And then another shortly after that.

He has not had fully-manifested seizure activity since the weekend before we moved him to the Hospice House.
August 14, perhaps.

He was given Ativan, which stopped them both fairly quickly.
And I was in the parking lot while all of this was happening.
I felt so bad.
But then again, part of me thinks he knew it was coming — and waited for me to leave.

Saturday was also quiet.
He seemed about the same to me.
I sat with him for a few hours, mostly as he slept.
Each time he awoke, I would walk to his bedside and make sure he wasn’t in pain – or if he needed anything.

Around dinner time, Carys called me.
She wanted to know if I was coming home for dinner – and I was.
She asked me how Daddy was doing – so I put her on speaker phone.
She overwhelmed him with questions, so I coached her into a pattern of asking one question and then waiting for a response.
His voice was weak, but he did attempt to talk to her.

She: “Hi Daddy, how are you doing today?”
He: “Hhhhhhhey.”
She: “I miss you. And I love you.”
He: He tried to say ‘I love you’, but it just wouldn’t come out. He waved at the phone instead, our symbol for ‘I love you’ and I told Carys what he was doing.
Me: “Chad, can you say her name – can you say ‘Carys’?
He: ……..”Hhhhhhhar-ish”

He tried so hard.
And Carys heard it – I’m told she got a little teary-eyed.
And I’m so thankful she got that moment she so needed.

Shortly after our phone call, I decided to go home.
He was growing tired again and I needed to snuggle my girls.
They were in good company this week as my fabulous Aunt Donna stepped in to take care of them so I could visit Chad as much as possible. The girls had a lot of fun and were very happy!
Thank you!

I was only able to visit chad for a couple of hours today.
He was, still, tired.
I asked him repeatedly if he was thirsty or hungry. No.
I swabbed his mouth a few times, just to freshen him up a bit.
But he didn’t really want me to do that, biting down on the swab and turning his head away.
He did the same thing when I offered him ice or a sip of water – clenching his lips, turning his head.

His favorite movie, The Matrix, was on today – almost all day.
And I left it on for him, although he didn’t remember it. I couldn’t believe that — he watched that movie every.single,time it was on television. Which is a lot, if you’ve never noticed.

I knew his parents would be on their way to visit him today, so I felt okay about leaving him to rest for a bit before they arrived.

I called to check on him this evening, and was told he was doing about the same as earlier today.
He was coughing a bit more, and the nurse let me know she would call if anything changed.
And I know she will. The staff members are fantastic people that know I can’t go to bed each night unless I’ve called to check – and if I wake up with a panic attack at 2am, they understand my need to call and check…again.

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