Mary presented the initial symptoms on March 22, 2009. She was eligible for and elected the liver resection and she made the best of the remaining months. On Feb 22, all the indications were that the CC was in total remission and she would be one of the fortunate few who had several more years. Unfortunately, by March 15, it was clear things were not right. She was re-admitted to Stanford on March 26 and on March 31 the attending physician told me I should assemble the family. Her kids from Pasadena, Tucson and Pennsylvania and my kids from Denver and New York along with all of our grandchildren arrived less than 24 hours later.
Mary said goodbye to each of us in turn. Her last lucid comments were on Easter Sunday (April 4). We had a "take out Easter Dinner" in the hospital although Mary could not join us from her room. After dinner, she talked to each of us although it was only a few words. She was most loquacious to the grandchildren.
By Monday, she was uncommunicative and unresponsive. And, although we had made plans to move her home, the doctors were advising us that she would not make the trip successfully. Each of her children, her sister and I worked 24x7 shifts to make sure she was not alone.
Mary spent the last 15 years worrying and taking care of her heart. Proper food, good cholesterol numbers, blood pressure management, you name it. Well, her heart and lungs kept working until April 8 even though her liver and kidneys had failed several days before. Finally, on the afternoon of April 8, she drew her last breath and her heart stopped beating.
I wrote on her crematorium container:
Mary, my love
Let your itchy feet carry you
to new and wonderful places,
Let your spirit hold
and keep our love,
All Ways and