Jane and I had a frank conversation with the Hospice nurse and the oncologist on Wednesday, and both agree that Jane may only have 3-4 weeks left. The hospice nurse told Jane, "It's up to you to prove us wrong." We laughed.
Some of you may ask as we did, why? One explanation for the seemingly sudden change is that Jane is not tolerating any food intake at all anymore; about the only thing she can keep down now is ice chips/water. This had been happening over the past month or more, but has really come to a head in the last 2 weeks.
We asked about TPN (Total parenteral nutrition) which is essentially IV food, and the oncologist is concerned about two factors: one is fluid overload, which could be detrimental to Jane's current condition, and the other, harsh as it may sound, is needless prolonging of suffering.
At this point, Jane is in little to no pain thanks to medication (The role of the hospice nurse it to keep it that way), and is in good spirits.
My son Brent and his family are coming sooner than originally planned. We were able to get an emergency exception to the non-transferrable tickets purchased for the 16th of May, and they will now be arriving on April 29th. This change was also a result of the accelerated sense of urgency.
Jane and I have developed the following "etiquette" list for interactions with our family in the next few weeks, and trust that each of you will understand, and be respectful of these wishes.
- Please, no drop-in visitors. We will be having a rather full house with family coming from various parts of the country, and it can get overwhelming.
- If you would like to visit, please call in advance and we will let you know if Jane is up for it.
- NOTE: One of the best types of visits, and something Jane thoroughly enjoys, is receiving little cards with a brief personal note.
- Jane has requested that people not ask her how me or the kids are doing. It's difficult for either of us to answer that question. Generally speaking, they (and me) are doing as well as can be expected.
- Finally, although we appreciate the intent behind nutritional (and even survival) suggestions, Jane feels confident that we are doing, and have done, everything we can.
We continue to be amazed daily by the unending outpouring of love and support from everyone, and we hope that will continue. This is true evidence of the Love of God that dwells in each of you.