Bear with me. I’ve just started getting used to how morphine affects me so this post will probably be a disaster. Hopefully I can at least cover the most important things I have to say.
Me, brother Ryan, my dad, my mom, and my grandmother, all went downtown to the cancer center yesterday to find out what my doctors saw on my CT scan from Tuesday. Because I have been feeling worse and worse, I was expecting bad news. The news was worse than I was prepared for though. Dr. Gore said the Avastin did not seem to be helping at all as the cancer was growing and spreading at the same rapid rate that it was without Avastin. I guess most of what he said was a blur to me. He and Dr. Barnes agree that at this point that any steps they try to take to control my cancer would be futile. I asked him the question that had been at the back of my mind but that I also felt was something that simply had to work out in my favor: “Will I still be alive and functioning reasonably at Christmas time?” But sadly he responded with, “No.” I had to give up on studying abroad. Then I had to give up on taking a shorter trip to Vegas. And now the newest thing I had chosen to focus my positive energy on (having a fantastic Christmas with my family) had to blow up in my face like an overly filled balloon.
This is Mary’s mom taking over. She is feeling terrible right now.
When we were at the doctor’s office yesterday they tapped her belly and removed 3+ liters of ascites (fluid). That procedure made her feel more comfortable to some degree, but did nothing to help with the pain. While the procedure was being performed, Dr. Gore’s office was setting up plans for Mary to have home Hospice care immediately.
The goal of hospice is to make Mary as comfortable and as pain free as possible. We are using Hope Hospice and they have been wonderful so far. They called before we left the hospital to make plans to deliver a hospital bed last night. Mary could not sleep in a bed flat with fluids pressing on her lungs. A hospice nurse came to the house to assess her pain needs. She gave Mary oral morphine in incremental doses until a level was reached to hopefully help her sleep more comfortably through the night. So, the hospital bed and oxygen and other durable medical equipment was all delivered and set up last night, and Mary sleep better than she has in several weeks, although she did wake up several times to take more morphine.
Today hospice came out to set her up on a Morphine pump so she can administer her own morphine as needed with the push of a button. This provides a steady stream of morphine to better control the pain. Of course it will not allow her to receive more than a preset dose.
Mary has eaten very little today, and did not keep all of it down.
We have decided to have an early Christmas because it is so important to Mary and us to enjoy our time together. Her brother and John are out buying a Christmas tree as I am writing this entry.
Words can’t describe how difficult it is to see Mary going through this agony. She continues to be unbelievably brave. I really want to say more, but my way of expressing the way I feel seems to only come out in uncontrollable sobs. (Reminding myself to be brave for her though). Mary is my precious, beautiful, brilliant, funny and tough as nails little girl (and she always will be my little girl).
Please, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all the notes and encouragement you’ve written throughout her blog. They have meant so much to Mary and to her family.
Mary’s mom, Beth