Posts

Showing posts matching the search for Gone from My Sight

Cancer Diary: The Stages of Dying Guide We Used to Accompany Carl in His Dying

Image
One of the most comforting and helpful resources we found when Carl was in the final days of hospice -- more helpful than what hospice workers could tell us and more than doctors did tell us -- was a little book, called Gone from My Sight: The Dying Experience by Barbara Karnes, RN. As Carl went through each predicted and predictable stage from being distant mentally, to not eating, and then to not drinking, this little book told us the range of expectations and what was happening to his body in preparation for death in relation to what he was and was not doing. The book description on Amazon is very accurate:  The biggest fear of watching someone die is fear of the unknown; not knowing what dying will be like or when death will actually occur. The booklet "Gone From My Sight" explains in a simple, gentle yet direct manner the process of dying from disease. Dying from disease is not like it is portrayed in the movies. Yet movies, not life, have become our role models. Death

When Pets Are Dying: Help in Understanding the Process and the Decisions

Image
  When my beloved Murjan was dying from cancer , I was desperate for information, but my husband was dying from cancer at the same time, which gave me very little time for seeking out answers. Murjan was almost 19 years old and had been on chemotherapy for three years. His vet did not know how to help him further, but she apparently did not want to admit that -- and subconsciously I did not want to admit that she did not know what to do and had essentially given up on him. I was unable to get timely appointments, or any appointments at all, even in the emergency room. We do not have any vets in town. I have to travel no matter what. Murjan's vet was located an hour north of us. To get help, I contacted other vets. A vet to the west of us recommended hydration, and so we stated hydrating Murjan every other day. His vet to the north allowed as to how that might help. But Murjan kept losing weight. He was down to 5 pounds (from 16 pounds) when he died.  Finally, a vet to the south of

Cancer Diary: Late-Stage Cancer Diagnosis: Fast-Tracking Decision-Making on a Roller Coaster

Image
  Earlier, I wrote about the two paths that erupted in front us when faced with a late-stage cancer diagnosis: to focus on living or to focus on dying. There are so many problems and so much confusion when told after a fall or a blood test or something else that seems otherwise innocuous that your loved one has advanced stage 4 cancer.  The worst thing about a late-stage diagnosis is time, or the lack thereof. Not just the time left for a cancer victim to live, but the time available to make decisions.  The first decision--to treat or go on hospice --is a significant one, and there is often no time to really think in through. From my own experience with more than one relative diagnosed with more than one kind of cancer at an advanced stage, there is an automatic, nearly instinctive choice made, not a reasoned one. Got insurance? Treat the cancer. Don't have insurance? Don't treat the cancer. Those are clearly not the most logical or even medically best or viable criteria, but

Excerpt from One SImple Text.... (Shaw & Brown): Back to the Woods

Image
photo: https://calstar.org/contact-us/              A nurse named Ally carried a big, white binder into Elizabeth’s room. It contained, according to Ally, all the information I would need to help me understand what to expect in the coming days and weeks. As Ally guided me through the binder, the truth that Elizabeth was not yet out of the woods—not even close—began to sink in. My heart pounded in my throat, and tears gathered at the corners of my eyes. “Just take it hour by hour,” Ally told me, just as the TRU nurse had.   I learned about the two critical periods in the early recovery for a person with a brain injury. The initial critical period when injuries may be so bad that they cause death, even with the best care, occurs the first day or two after the injury. Those who survive this period face another critical period a few days later, lasting for approximately two more weeks during which time the brain may swell and complications occur at any time. Elizabeth had now entered i

Daily Excerpt: God Speaks into Darkness (Easterling) - How Long, O Lord? (Inspired by Psalm 13)

Image
  Excerpt from God Speaks into Darkness How Long, O Lord? Inspired by Psalm 13 Think back over your life journey to mountains you’ve climbed and valleys you’ve encountered. You have found your share of troubles—or they found you, right? Have you noticed that when trouble comes, it often brings cousins and friends? Yesterday the birds were singing. Today even family and best friends are missing. Your body, mind, and spirit capsized. You sent out SOS signals; yet no one responded--and there’s no lighthouse in sight. In times like this, have you ever voiced the Psalmist’s lament, “How Long, O Lord will this last? Have you forgotten me? Will it be forever?” The Psalmist in this classic prayer is uttering a universal cry: “How long will you forget me, Lord? Will it be forever? How long will you look the other way while I’m suffering, feeling all alone and abandoned? How long will this sorrow fill my heart day and night? How long will my enemies triumph over me? Is this permanent, Lord?” Ye