Mrs. Charm has been in a steep decline since Oct. 13, her advanced cancer taking away her ability to think clearly and speak coherently. She has enormous trouble communicating with me and Mr. Boy, which causes her endless frustration. She’s fallen twice on her walker and is no longer able to stand, even with help.
On the 16th she said she knew she could not recover and she wanted to go with Hospice Austin’s care rather than suffer through another round of chemo. The stuff called R-CHOP she had last fall that helped her get into remission until July was nothing compared to the high-dose ones called RICE to fight her recurrent lymphoma. Two rounds of that in late August and late September cut her pretty low and caused scary neurological episodes each time. Recovery was hard, especially after she got the news Oct. 7 that it hadn’t worked and the cancer was steadily spreading.
Her M.D. Anderson doctor called Sunday to see what our situation was. He wasn’t surprised. Cancer moves fast, he said. “God bless you,” he concluded.
So Mrs. C. will stop taking the multiple pills she was on for various, presumably chemo-related problems such as a thyroid condition, and antibiotics to defeat possible infections from her weakened immune system. Now she will take only those drugs that will mask her pain to keep her as comfortable as possible. With hourly visits each day from Certified Nurses Aides to see to her hygiene and a
weekly visit daily visits from a hospice nurse to monitor her condition.
And when the shut-down of one of her organs inevitably occurs, we’ll call the 24/7 hospice line instead of 9-1-1.
UPDATE: Mrs. Charm, my wife Debra Ann Davis Stanley, passed away at 5 p.m. on Oct. 22 after a long and exhausting struggle with cancer. She was 55 years young.