Hospice 2

Today Dan told us liquid morphine and lorazepam were not a problem to use at the same time.   Yet last night I think I experienced just such a case. Last night I fell asleep promptly. When I awoke around12:30, I  felt as though I had been sleeping soundly for a long time.  I had little sleep the rest of the night and dreamed many strange dreams. I also managed to strain what’s left of my upper torso muscles with the usual result of a very painful rib cage muscles needing the heating pad.  At 4:00am Heidi gave me another dose of morphine.  I went back to sleep. When I awoke at noon Dan and has crew were setting up a hospital bed for me.

Bob seemed pretty out of it this morning which was a worry.    His aid came at 9:00 and helped me prepare the bedroom for the hospital bed.   At 11:00 Dan (nurse) checked in said his pulse was good and offered to see him tomorrow.  I got him into his hospital bed and the remote control makes changing position easy as well as sitting up.  He ate broth, crackers a    nd tea.  He began working on this post as I made arrangements for his daughter Kathy to arrive on Monday instead on the following Sat.  It took me three agents to get the job done.  She will stay for a week and we welcome her love and support.  Bob ate his chicken soup watching the PBS new and business.  Stacy will be with me tomorrow helping me prepare for Todd,Paul and Emily’s arrival.   Over the weekend her older girls eager to be of service in entertaining 2 ½ year old Emily.  We are gratefully look forward to our CA children’s visit.

Thank you for you caring words and support.
Heidi and Bob

Hospice #1

This is the first post on our hospice experience. I think I’ll be publishing these more frequently because this is a new experience, and events may occur more quickly.

The lady who handles enrollment for all of this hospice’s clients in the metropolitan area came Saturday morning. When she asked what else we might need today, I told her I would like the catheter replaced ASAP. Who would imagine it would be my first request? She sent an e-mail, and the on-duty nurse arrived at 4 pm – wonderful relief. Good service!
Monday morning the case nurse and the social worker came. Dan (the nurse) explained how we could use the liquid morphine he had brought us. They each asked a number of questions to find out how things were going. We learned we would see Dan (the nurse) once a week and more often if he was needed.
We have been using Biofreeze a couple of times in 24 hours to soften the rib cage muscle pain I have been dealing with more 2 years. It has worked pretty well since this summer. We have also been taking a dose of the morphine in the evening for the last two nights. Tuesday night I slept with out pain but not soundly; I wonder if the morphine is causing that. Another question for Dan.
This weekend Todd, Paula and toddler Emily will be coming from Calfornia for a visit.I am really looking forward to seeing all three of them!

Nearing the end of the journey

Alas, the biopsy-free tumor sequencing results did not show that I would be a good candidate for Lynparza. However, to paraphrase a disclaimer in the report the chief forwarded to us, this test procedure is NOT a substitute for a tissue biopsy. At the moment I doubt that I would have been able to tolerate the twice daily dose of 400 mg.

Thus, it looks like the treatment part of our journey is finished. This is a very difficult situation to contemplate for reasons I’m sure long-time readers can easily imagine. This morning we enrolled in our local hospice organization.

Since the first of June my PSA has been doubling at a rate of about 100 days. With no treatment to arrest the growth of the cancer population, I anticipate that the PSA will continue to climb.

I feel myself slipping physically every week. My appetite has not returned; it is hard for me to relish my meals. This may have something have to do with a low level stomach pain I’ve had every since mid-July. Two summers ago a similar pain was traced  to malignant nodules close to my lower spine. This summer, it’s not so clear.
And, it seems all I can do to cope with my plumbing difficulties.

We are trying to think philosophically about this turn of events. Heidi and I have had many more years to enjoy life, and each other, than we expected in the early years after my initial diagnosis. We rejoice in knowing that and are planning to enjoy the time we have left together.

The interest displayed by your comments have been a great source of comfort to us these last six years. With an endorsement from several readers who are neighbors in northern VA, I plan to continue this blog into the hospice experience for as long as I am able. I am not now planning to send these Hospice posts to my friends still battling with PCa because I suspect that such posts are not what other PCa patients want to read. Please e-mail me if you have already read quite enough and wish to be deleted from the distribution list.

We hope your fall season will be as pleasant as we intend ours to be.
Love, Heidi and Bob