Topic: SENSITIVE: What You May Expect

SENSITIVE: Dear Shar, has your ONC called in Hospice yet? Hospice does not have to mean the end but they are wonderful for Home Care and they will ease your way on this journey. They also have a booklet on what to expect when, that I found very helpful with Teddy. He really followed it pretty closely. He started sleeping more, eating less, and about 10 days prior to the end he started 'picking' at his clothes and sheets. This is some kind of preparation they go through. It is NOT all that scary, honestly. I used that time to be nearer to him in every way and when the end came it was something I had never witnessed in my life. I have never been afraid of dying and it even convinced me more so. My daughter was right with me and Teddy's last day was awesome! Robin kept saying, "Mom do you know how privileged we are to be a part of this". Some privilege, I know, but you would have had to be a part of it. Teddy sadly was in a lot of pain for about 4 hours but as his body started to close down the pain slowly left. He laid there for hours with his eyes wide open but never blinked. They DO know what is going on and they DO hear. I told him several times it was OK to go to his peace and that I loved him. Each time he put his fingers in his ears. He was NOT ready. He was waiting for something. As the pain started to decline he began "greeting" others from beyond! He would hold out his arms, encircle them with a big Teddy bear hug and even smooched his lips to kiss them. This went on for about 3 hours! There are no words to describe the calm and beauty of those 3 hours. I cry now as I think about it, not tears of losing him but tears at the awesomeness of it all. After his meet and greet was over the chest rale started which is the heart shutting down. If you are not prepared it is a rather disturbing noise and loud. I understand now there is a patch for it which we did not have. Robin got upset but I explained that he is not feeling any pain, it just sounds bad. There was only the 2 of us here as 2 teen Grandsons were home. When the rale started Robin called the boys and told them Papa was passing but they did not have to come. With in 15 mintues they walked in. Robin said, "Papa. Kyle and Brandon are here". 3 minutes later he passed. That is what he was waiting for. I feel he didn't want Robin and I to be alone and she felt it was one last life lesson that he was teaching the boys. Sorry to be graphic but to me this is a good graphic. Hang in, be strong and do not be afraid! I hope this helps. And I hope she stays very comfortable.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: SENSITIVE: What You May Expect

Lainy...I found it!!  Did your husband take methadone?  When hospice first came, they started him on it. Within 2 days, he was having "visions/dreams".  He said 25 people came and talked with him (from the other side).  I thought this was a sign he was getting close to the end, because according to what I have read, he had all of the other signs, including the picking and then the burst of energy...wow!! that was 3 weeks ago.  My sister came in, they took him off of methadone, and the visions stopped.  They were just giving him morphine, but then pain got worse, so they put him on lower dose of methadone, w/morphine for breakthrough pain.  He hasn't had the hallucinations again, but does "drift" in and out of reality occasionally. My poor father just wants to die, but for some reason won't.  He told my uncle 6 months ago, he thought he had cancer, and like I say, he started with those fevers a couple of years ago.  He had lesions on his liver last year, but was told not to worry about it...so I think he's pretty far along.  So, his pain is controlled, but he feels like s--t.  He mostly complains of discomfort in his abdoman region, he burps when he drinks, low appetite, sleeps alot.  I am not scared, but SAD and feel so helpless.  The family is taking turns taking care of him and my mom (because he used to take care of her, before he got so ill), and I have this Fri-Mon., and I can't wait to see him.  I know these last memories are important, but I also miss my old dad, and it is so difficult to see him this way.  My brother (who is there this Mon -Fri) said hospice has called someone to come aid with bathing.  When I was there last week, he was bathing on his own...I don't know what to expect.  We have also had so many other issues come up, since my dad got diagnosed...my long lost brother, who we all haven't seen in 25 yrs.!! showed up (very strange.  Luckily, my dad was so relieved to see him, he started crying.  The care of my mom after my dad passes has been a trouble area for the sibs.  It's so hard going to his house, because his shop is filled with his tools and things he's made, this house he built with his own hands...and I know it's all fixing to be over...just like that.  Man, am I ever sad.  I have talked with a therapist...grief advise, medicine (which I don't want to take), because I want to grieve.  I live very far from my mom and dad, and have an iffy car, a business here with my husband.  I feel I am flinging apart, because of the stress.  I know my siblings feel the same, and my mom doesn't say much, because I think she is in shock.  She would never consent to getting "help", although I think she should, because she has so many decisions to make, etc.  I try to stay upbeat, and even if you don't read or respond to this, I feel better.  In fact, "journaling" is one of the things my shrink suggested.  Thanks for listening.

Re: SENSITIVE: What You May Expect

Dearest Higgens, Teddy was on Morphine and he had some pretty big illusions also they gave him Haldol which helped with the scary stuff since the Morph worked so well for him. He also had breakthrough Morph. Bottom line is comfort in every way! The visions and the picking can probably start up to 2 -3 weeks out, no set timetable on this stuff as everyone is different. The day he Passed was the day he actually greeted people. AWESOME & unbelievable! Everyone got bear hugs and kisses.
I think that was wonderful that your brother came after so many years. When you are all sitting around him I hope you are talking about good memories as they like to hear that and it's really good for all of you. I am not a therapist, I only know what worked for me and my family. To me it was important to try to remember the good things and not loose my precious moments. There will be a day soon when it is very important for all of you to give Dad permission to go to his peace. He needs to know it's ok and that you are all going to be OK. I believe we do pick our time to leave.
I know every day brings something different. Teddy, too, one day showered the next an aide came to shower him.
Here is a good example of a Memory made 2 days before I took him to a Hospice Facility, I think about this one all the time. Teddy LOVED to dance. I was in the kitchen and he came in without his walker. I said, "where is your walker? You want more problems?" (with a smile, I should add) He said, "I just wanted to dance with you". He took me in his arms and started singing our song and we danced for seconds! Whew. That was a hard one to post.
All my family on this Board know I am a BIG believer and I know Teddy is all around me all the time and some day, if you believe, you will feel the same about your Dad and it is a huge comfort! I am thinking of you and your family!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: SENSITIVE: What You May Expect

That is such a sweet story, and you are so kind...I really appreciate it.  Your Teddy sounds like such a great guy, and I am so sorry for your loss.  You are such an inspiration to so many people on this site.  I have been reading the posts in this section, and they have been heart wrenching, but so helpful too.  I guess not knowing what to expect is hard, but I'm getting a good idea of what to expect, generally speaking. Thank you, and God bless.  Paula

Re: SENSITIVE: What You May Expect

Just spent four days with dad.  His mentally processing is deteriorating rapidly...he is very overwhelmed and confused, so we are keeping things simple (except the "I love yous")  So sad to see, because he was so strong before.  I can't wait for his suffering to be over, although I will miss my best friend more than ever.  Every flower I see, every good deed done,  every bird that I hear, will remind me that my father is near. I believe, and am comforted by that thought, but I sure as hell am going to miss him!  Paula

Re: SENSITIVE: What You May Expect

Paula, I hope you don't mind but because Dad is getting closer to his Peace I felt compelled tonight to post a poem I wrote about Teddy, oh, about 5 days before he passed. You are doing good, hang in, be strong.


Time is growing closer, I can see it in his eyes,
Time is growing closer, but we’ll have no sad ‘goodbyes’.
Memories abound from our precious moments spent,
To God it is, I’m sending, the most “precious” package sent.

These last few months of knowing, we’ve made a honeymoon,
In my mind a vision of an eternal, beautiful afternoon.
He is still my charming Prince, who taught me how to love,
And someday we’ll be together, in Heaven up above.

I will see him riding stars, I will see him in the moon,
And someday you will see us dancing to our favorite tune.
He will touch my face so gently, like he’s known to do,
It’s not goodbye forever, with memories bad or few.

All our love, my sweet one, is ours to hold so tight,
Until once again together on a mystical, magic night,
We will be again united to celebrate our dance around the sun,
And know that our eternity together, has only just begun.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: SENSITIVE: What You May Expect

I love that...if he was still here, you two could have been on "Dancing with the Stars"!!  Thank you for all of your beautiful poems.  I am supposed to be getting pictures on the computer to run at dad's memorial, during the food time.  Is it ok if I use some of the poems I've read on this forum?  They are so touching, personal, and beautiful.  Thanks, and God bless,  Paula

Re: SENSITIVE: What You May Expect

Paula, you may use any poems you like but if they have the name of the writer you must add that as well. Not mine. I am not published in any way but I have some poems labeled by the author. You are doing as I did and that was to get everything in order which also helps to get through this time you are in. If you are interested in some more poems I can e mail them to you.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: SENSITIVE: What You May Expect

Dear Paula,

I am so sorry to hear about your dad.  You are doing all the right things just by being there for him and letting him know how much you love him.  I lost my dad a little over a year ago, and I was there with him when he passed.  Just as Lainy said, there is a peace in the room when the time comes.  I will keep your family in my prayers.  Hugs,  PeggyP