Sunday, September 21, 2008

An Eventful Update (of the no good kind)

Hi Everybody. I am sorry to report that Jeff has taken another downward turn. The Hospice staff called me away from 9:00 a.m. mass this morning to let me know that Jeff was having considerable pain and that they were going to install a "PCA" (which is a self-administered pain pump). They also informed me that he appears to be weaker and that his overall condition has declined.

He battled pain and discomfort for most of last week and was also suffering from shortness of breath. In response, the Hospice team increased his pain medication to effectively combat both symptoms. Jeff had a ton of visitors on Friday, and his brother and father came to visit over the weekend and actually stayed with Jeff in the hospice. Rumor has it, Jeff even attempted to eat a Big Mac and french fries (which would have been his first solid food in three weeks). So, right now it's hard to tell how much of his lethargy and sleepiness is due to the stress of a busy weekend and how much is due to the disease simply running its course.

For now, he is comfortably resting and his pain seems to be largely under control. I remain watchful and hopeful. I will udpate you again soon.

Take care!


TheRamFam said...

Kelly& Jeff,

You continue to be an inspiration to us all. I continue to pray for you both. Jeff, I wish I had a funny story to tell you. My weekend in East Lansing rooting on the Irish didn't go so well! I hope you didn't waste any time watching that horrible game. Maybe we'll get them this weekend. Purdue is usually a good cure for an ailing Irish team. Please feel better. All of NDNation is praying for you.


Terri said...

I said that I had a poem thing for you that I was going to send but this is easier-to just post it instead. Maybe you already have this poem from the Hospice place in your area, so take it for what you want, but I thought that I would just share.
Gone From My Sight
by Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says:"There she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"

And that is dying.

Well, that is the poem, take it for what it is worth. I know that you are not a poem kinda gal but, I just found that perspective interesting and comforting.
Love, Terri

Mike Kenney said...

Hi Kelly,

I am so glad to hear that you and the children are doing well. I have read your observations and feelings of the days since Jeff's death and they, of course, bring back very vivid memories for me. Many of the details of those days,ten years passed, have transformed into what I term "essences". One such essence is the feeling of stillness that surrounded me and I assume the children right after Mary Beth's death. The sensation reminded of when I was young boy getting my hair cut, a "buzz" cut. Having that barber's trimmer over my head for 15 minutes was a disturbing yet intense rush. Having it suddenly turned off was an unusual feeling of calm, emptiness and a bit of disorienting - pretty good memory for a bald guy, eh? That is how I felt after months of the intense demands of managing a job, 4 children, double daily trips to the hospital and eventually 3 weeks of home hospice. When it was over I was calm, there was an empty silence and I was surrounded by the welcoming yet relieved smiles and hugs of the support team that truly carried us through the ordeal. As if raised on a pallet with the sun always shining I began to move forward. For some time I felt as if I was operating normally but in a protected stasis of sorts thanks to my faith, my family and my friends. My previous life's path, no longer visible but a new one with many crossroads ahead was in sight. I've traveled those paths for 10 years now. As you and the kids venture along your new paths please know that I am here to listen and tell of my expriences and well as those of my 4 children. I didn't always make the best decisions but I will certainly tell which decisions I made and why. I pray and hope for you and your family each day.