I just got off the phone with teh SO. his beloved mother (my beloved mother-in-law), died about an hour ago. I've been crying for quite a while now.
it is still unreal to me: over a matter of weeks it went from being "an early stage, very treatable from of cancer" to increasingly severe side effects to the therapy of chemo and radiation, to a *short* hospitalization 12 days ago. a short hospitalization that kept on getting longer and longer as her condition kept worsening on an accelerated spiral. first it was continuous diarrhea, then add to that continuous vomiting, hypotension, dramatically lowered counts of red and white blood cells, an infection unresponsive to antibiotics… and the increasing medical measures: glucose IVs, a naso-gastrial tube when the IVs were not enough, multiple blood transfusions to try to bring her red cell count up, isolation room, gloves and masks required to attempt to keep infections out.
the endgame came fast. not even 24 hours ago joanne was still lucid while on morphine for the pain; her doctor came by last night and chatted a bit; told her he wanted to talk to her about 'advanced directives' but that it could wait until tomorrow. just a few hours later, her breathing got shallow and she turned to my sister-in-law Tammy, and said "I'm dying. ok if I go?" and within minutes she stopped breathing… nurses did CPR, but teh SO and his sister decided no "jump plates", no ventilator. and so she went.
goodbye and godspeed to a wonderful woman who never thought of me as any less than "her fourth daughter". one of her favorite things to do, and she must have done it hundreds of times when with me, was to lean over to me and say "you know you are one of my daughters, don't you?
goodnight to you, joanne. and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest