So, I promised to write another update before last Tuesday, but timing is 80s. For those of you who lack time and prefer the language of Twitter, here’s a 140 character update:
New med pump working well #nopain #nonausea Still confused – issues with short term memory & hall roaming. New scan showed bone cancer #effcancer
Ingrid is still in hospice & will stay there until this Monday at least. She’s now on a handy little pump which delivers her pain meds at a steady rate – they’ve been gradually reducing the dosage to find a good balance between pain relief and the loss of marbles. Basically, she was taking enough of the stuff to tame a pack of wild monkeys but now they’ve seemed to find a good balance. If she’s stable on Monday, she may have the option to come home (if she wants).
3 days ago, in the middle of the night, she was found roaming the halls on the opposite wing of the hospice house. Totally unaware of where she was she wandered into someone else’s room so the next night I had a sleepover – I crashed on a cot next to her and she didn’t escape.
THE GOOD NEWS: She can still walk.
At this point, they’re not sure if her loss of memory has to do with the drugs she’s on or the disease attacking her brain which is why they’re lowering the dosage. We’ve still been having short conversations but she goes into these rad tangents about random stuff and will forget that she talked with someone earlier that day.
THE GOOD NEWS: She can still make you laugh.
She has had these crazy growths on her head & was in the hospital to have them cut out but after the doctor saw how fast the one grew back that he cut out 3 weeks ago, he decided he’s not going to do anything about them. Cutting them out will most likely just make them spread and there’s no way he can get the whole thing out. She’s also got small ones on her back, rib, hand, arm, and leg but they are only painful if you touch / hit them.
THE GOOD NEWS: Nobody is hitting her.
Bone scans are neat. She also had another one of these done earlier this week and the cancer is now in her bones as well. After talking with the (rad) pain doctor (Dr. Banwell) about this, there are options to do some more testing and radiation but at the end of the day, it just means more taxi rides to the hospital and her feeling more like a dart board with all these needles.
THE GOOD NEWS: She isn’t a dart board.
Dr. Banwell mentioned to me that Ingrid is very unique in that most people, at this stage in their lives, are desperate to buy more time… even if it means an extra few days. She doesn’t have this longing. She’s at peace. We are at peace. Our main priority is that she doesn’t have any pain and we feel that the days of tests, operations, radiation, and the smell of a hospital are over. Ingrid isn’t desperate for more time, she’s desperate to be at peace and pain-free. She is comfortable laying in bed all day with the ocassional wheelchair stroll outside in the beautiful tulip covered courtyard.
THE GOOD NEWS: The hospice house and our house don’t smell like a hospital.
Misha mentioned that our prayers at the dinner table have become a little longer lately to which I responded, “That’s because we have a lot to be thankful for”.
We’re thankful for meals brought (some random person showed up at our house last night and handed me a lasagna saying “I went through what you went through and wanted to help”).
We’re thankful for our longboards – me and the kids have been doing a bunch of cruising lately in the sweet weather as well as taking some trips up Knox Mountain. So much life in doing this stuff.
We’re thankful for the friends around us. Seems like everywhere we go people give us the “head tilt with concerned expression slash dry heave” look asking if we’re alright. It’s so sweet. It’s actually unreal how rad people are.
A lot of you would still love to visit Ingrid but until we know for sure what’s going to happen on Monday we’re going to only have family coming in. Yes, even the most selfless humans are energy vampires to a delusional hospice dweller.
THE GOOD NEWS: The daily kindness of our community & hospice staff creates an immense comfort along with knowing that we are all being carried in the arms of Jesus who gives us this “peace that doesn’t make sense”.