In these last few days big amounts of love and joy have surrounded Uwe and our family. Uwe’s brother arrived on Sunday, my sister on Saturday and many, many friends have stopped by for a smile, a laugh, a beer and a tear.
Uwe is resting right now, he is getting weaker by the day. His humor still shines through, peeking out from under a cloak of sadness. It’s so hard to know you are going to leave this world sooner than you planned.
I’ve heard from several people that the news of hospice came as a big surprise. Uwe and I kept our hopes up until the doctors told us, no more treatment. And we didn’t share the consequence of every medical intervention. The big issue with Uwe is that the path from Uwe’s stomach to his intestine is blocked by the tumor. He had a gastric bypass surgery to fix it but, it never really worked that well. His stomach got a little slow, so he took a pill for it. But, still limited his intake to pureed foods.
A few weeks ago we found out he developed a partial obstruction in his upper intestine, making it that much harder to get nutrition the old fashioned way. I think since then the obstruction has gotten bigger only allowing trickles of liquid to pass through.
The tpn, food in a bag, was part of his treatment to supply nutrition through a picc line. This meant he was getting fluid, vitamins, mineral and lipids delivered directly to his heart. The body would take this ‘tpn’ to the parts of the body that needed it and Uwe would get energy from it. There is a limited amount of time that the body will tolerate all this extra liquid being deposited at the heart and Uwe hit that limit. The liquids started to pool in his legs, stomach and just recently a little in his lungs. The doctors decided it was time to take Uwe off the tpn because it was doing more harm than good. They also said his body wasn’t healthy enough to withstand another chemo. This whole cancer thing sucks and even though medicine can do amazing things, they haven’t figured out how to feed someone without either the tpn or use of the existing intestinal tract.
So Uwe came home for hospice. He is trying to get some nutrition in but, we see it coming out of his gastro tube. The g tube was inserted last week to relieve the pressure from his stomach filling up and not going down the intestines. This has reduced the amount Uwe throws up each day, although not stopped it completely. I’m sorry if this is too much information but, I’m hoping it answers some questions for many of our friends.
I feel so helpless at this stage of his illness but, sadly there are no longer any options. So we have chosen to give Uwe a big send off, filled with love, Love, LOVE.
We are blessed to have so many family members and friends around us. Rita lou