I am sorry that this post may seem brutal and upsetting to some, actually, I rewrote it to try to be less upsetting. But, we are very upset and I am not in the mood to explain at length our views on death and dying and ‘Life after Life’. Perhaps some day. There are some good books on these subjects.
A poem that we love is
A PARABLE OF IMMORTALITY
by Henry Van Dyke, Born 1852, Died 1933
I am standing upon the seashore. A tall sailing ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: “Here she comes!”
And that is dying.
It is with indescribable sadness that I tell you that Janet chose to go into Hospice on January 1 and to refuse any hydration or IV nutrition. The previous, so called palliative care, was terrible and she was too often in major pain. She cannot change her impending death, but she is very glad that the Hospice folks have her pain much better controlled. She is not expected to last long.
A CA 125 test result of 2539.0 where it was 599 in October and less than 35 is normal. So, that has since confirmed the surgeon’s finding that there is nothing that can be done. The only good news is that Hospice is doing a much better job of pain control and that very soon she will have no more pain. They estimate 4 to 14 days.
Janet’s main emotion is disappointment. Disappointment that we had so many plans, that we love each other so much, that there was so much more that we wanted to do, but it has been cut short way to soon.
She awaits the next adventure. We have had many long talks and we are as ready as anyone can be for this. She is still completely lucid and wishing that it would get it over with. We have been in similar situations with Janet’s dad and my dad and mom. Let me tell you that it sucks, but many of you have already seen much worse.
She is more adamant than ever, no visitors or phone calls. My position is, that even though I know that all of you would like to visit or call, her slightest whim is my command. I read her the emails. She enjoys them all, just as she enjoyed knowing every one of you.
I suggest that you do as I do, and keep bringing to the front the millions of wonderful memories and great times, the incalculable GIFT that having known her is, and I am working hard to not dwell of the though that those days are over.
She understands that Hospice is not allowed to shorten her time, but they are working hard to find the best combination of drugs to help her to be truly pain free. We are optimistic that the time left will much better, and it is already so much better than under the previous, so called palliative care. But, it still sucks.
The Hospice people gave me a big collection of info. I have not had time to read very much of it, but I suggest that everyone read the very short, 14 page book that they included. It is by Barbara Karnes, RN, a Hospice nurse of many years. Please buy it and support her, but a bootleg copy, so you can see if it is for you, seems to be at
These are things that few ever want to know about or especially to deal with first hand. I will probably regret having been so frank here, today. But, I am in the front row seats on something that I dislike very much, even though we all know that it comes to all of us and Janet is not the first loved one that I have had to do this with. Just the most important by far.
I had no intention to hurt any of you, but I surely must have. But, we think that it is a subject that needs to be dealt with openly.
You all know that I love to joke and see the bright side of things. I hope that all of my other posts are very upbeat.
Thanks for all of the prayers, good vibes, positive images, and support. They are of immeasurable value to us both.
Janet used to teach High School Spanish. I really like Spanish, even though I am not good at it. And we enjoyed living in Latin America (when it was much safer). A Mexican phrase that I always loved is, when someone is departing, leaving you, is, instead of goodbye is to say:
Qué le vaya bien.
That your travels go well.
Qué le vaya bien Juanita.
Dave & Janet