Reason #983….

… on the list of why I love Kathleen. She can still share a laugh even in the shittiest situations. Last night was a constant barrage of nausea and vomiting… Often it would just be a deep burp, but you never knew. The PSW and I were sitting on either side of the bed, somewhat anxiously waiting for the next time…. Barf or Belch? Then, cutting through the quiet like a bull in a china shop, Orville on the couch let out 3 seconds of “BUURRRRRRRRRRPPPPP“. We turned in awe at the shear volume of it and Kathleen said, “Excuuuuuse me!” All three of us just laughed and laughed.

Belching Dog

In the continuing shell game of symptoms, the vomiting was better controlled this morning. She had a bit of challenge swallowing and keeping her heartburn med down, but eventually managed to. The doctor found some sublingual versions that will allow her to just metabolize it in her mouth and not have to worry about swallowing. But then the horrible back pain returned. Our friend Jan had to use every trick in the book to get her comfortable and now has been sleeping since 11am.

Sometimes it feels like some terrible Greek fable where the central character has to pick 3 afflictions from a list to endure. Not like there are “nice things” on the list.

Profound Fatigue
Constant Nausea
Intractable Pain

Pick three. But when its just physical, her presence of mind is quite amazing. Last night was like that. She was tired, she was barfing up any bit of water she would swallow and in some abdominal pain…. Yet she could still laugh a little, and still try and enjoy a few more moments together.


Not Awake, not Sleeping

Its been hard, but we are managing so far. I havent had much of an inspiration to write on the blog as things in many ways have not changed much. They are still headed to their inevitable conclusion and symptoms that now arise are just part of that. When that is, is hard to guess. Soon. Kathleen continues to get weaker and weaker. She hasnt eaten anything for some time. Even now, swallowing sips of water is difficult and speaking is very laboured for her.

To further complicate matters, Kath has been very frightened at night. They call it “sunsetting”… Things get worse at night. She will often wake up and not recognize the PSW and be afraid and confused. So with the help of our good friend Jan and her mum, we will be with her to keep her comfortable and feeling safe. I am on night shift tonight. Perhaps once or twice an hour, she will talk aloud about the dream state that she is in for a few sentences, look at me and then go back to a place where we are not. She is not really sleeping, but not really awake either. Somewhere between.



A better day for Kathleen. She is still sleeping a great deal, but a little less. She had some trouble with nausea and vomiting for the last couple of days but its better under control now with a new / old drug. She had a few bites of pasta and had a craving for a ice-cream Sunday. Elaine zipped out and got her one.
Lots of visitors today with the room packed a few times. Even when she fell asleep, she had a smile on her face. Thanks to all who came by. It really was a satisfying meal for her spirit!

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Family Days

We have had many great visits over the last few days. Kathleen loves to see people, so dont be shy. She is upset with herself when she is sleeping, but I assure her people are not angry with her for resting. The pain is much better controlled as of yesterday. Anecdotal as well as empirical pump numbers show she is using a lot less of the heavy traditional pain meds and instead leaning on Tylonol and a special type of Advil that is much more gentle on her GI tract. She was able to sleep through the night without any pain crisis waking her. Its not completely gone but its for sure better. Hopefully we can titrate down the nasty stuff a bit so she is not so out of it and still be relatively comfortable.

Richard, Drew, Me and some random lady
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Jacob, Evey, Jordan, Marlee and Leia. The kids sang “International Space Station” and brought some wonderful coloring over to cheer Kathleen up. They have been like a tiny greek chorus to remind us of what can be bright and beautiful about the future at many points along Kathleen’s cancer journey.
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Kathleen’s sister Mel from Montreal with Elaine. Lots of smiles and happiness.
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Kathleen’s brother Don and her sister-in-law Bonnie
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Sleeping under Jordan’s magic princess
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