Saturday, September 04, 2004

Day one.

I had left the Markey Cancer center, just for one night. We had just rented a new apartment a block away so that we would have enough room for his sister to live with us-Mary was going to help us after the bone marrow transplant. He was not doing well. The Gleevec had only worked for a year, and he went out of remission in July 2002. The first round of chemo did not get him into remission again, a very bad sign. He had went through the nausea, the hair loss for nothing. So, in August he started another round of chemo. He was surprisingly upbeat, even after another bone marrow asperation ( a needle that looks like a finishing nail is hammered into the hipbone with no anesthesia, look it up it is horrible). So when the first of September rolled in I was optimistic but not hopeful. I had packed up the other apartment by myself, and had put all our worldly goods in the corner of the living room to be unpacked. He was unhappy about this, he always had so much guilt about me having to bear his burdens, which were nonesuch to me. So that Tuesday I went to the new apartment to start unpacking and go to the Dr.s the next morning. I talked to him the next morning, he felt icky but ok. So I went to the doctors, and was starting to his room at about noonish when the nurse called. His temperature had spiked to 104 in 2 hours and he was coughing badly. I ran from KY clinic to Markey and in his room were two of his doctors. There was no time to even ask questions, they began to roll him to ICU right as I got there. There I was once again helping him to ICU, with a doctor at each corner of the bed pushing. He was delirious, being combative, and I had to yell at him to be calm so he wouldn't rip out his Hickman catheter ( a catheter put into the aorta for injections). We got there, they made me wait outside. All I could think about was a tree limb almost falling on me that previous Sunday on the way home from a night shift at work. I was in a stupor an it almost hit me. Then I noticed the crows, a dozen of them, flying near me as I walked home. Death omens, both of them. It was to prepare me, I should have been prepared. Nothing could have done that.
The doctors got him set up. They came to ask me if they had permission to use life support. I told them I could not make that decision because he was conscience. His blood pressure was dipping, they were afraid they could not stabilize him. The doctors wanted to put a line into his leg to his heart to have an accurate blood pressure, but it could kill him. There was time to wait, they said, while they tried to find out what was wrong. So I said wait as long as they could hold out. I went into kiss him and he just looked at me and smiled. Smiled, after all the shit and pain and humiliation. I sat there with him and talked before he went to sleep. I walked out and started all the calls: to his sons in town, his daughter in Connecticut. Calls went to Florida to his sister and more calls to Connecticut to his other brother and sisters. Before I left to call he told me not to have anyone come down to see him. I just smirked, I knew better. His bunch were as stubborn as he was. I made the calls, and the plane tickets were bought the net hour. His brother Billy was on his way from new haven, his sister Ann and her husband from west palm beach. So I sat with his sons in the waiting room for the first night of sleep there waiting for news ok what was wrong and could it really be fixed.