Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Jan. 2, 1999

Renette Davis

You have all asked at one time or another what you can do to help Paul, and today I thought of something. We have been listening to lots of music lately, and I think he would really enjoy it if you would send a CD or tape of classical or religious music.

We inherited Philip's CD player when he got a new one a number of years ago, but we really never listened to it much until the last couple of months. We bought some CD's when we went downtown while my Mom was here, and again when Paul & I went to look at Christmas decorations. Philip gave us some very nice CD's for Christmas, and so did some of our friends.

We have been listening to CD's almost non-stop from the time we get up until the news comes on at 9:00 p.m. Even when Paul's napping in the chair, he usually wakes up when the CD is done and asks me to put another one on. I think he finds the music very soothing - I know I do.

He has asked me 2 days in a row now how much time I think he has left. Yesterday I said I didn't know. Today when he asked again I said I really didn't know, but I would guess a couple of months. I said I hope I'm wrong and it's longer than that. It seems like he's declining very quickly. He's been sleeping a lot lately. Even when my sister & her family were here, it seemed like he slept a lot.

I asked Dr. Nicholas about it and he said to Paul, "Are you depressed?" Paul said he wasn't and Dr. Nicholas said he didn't think so either. He said it's probably the tumor. When we were discussing treatment back in September, we asked what would happen if Paul decided against treatment, and Dr. Nicholas said he would have more symptoms, and would sleep more and more, and then one day just not wake up. It's comforting to know that it will probably not be a painful death, but it's also scary when I see him sleeping so much now.

I assume you all figured out that I typed the 2nd Happy New Year message yesterday. Paul wanted to tell you all Happy New Year, and typed the first message. He knew it didn't look right, but he wasn't able to fix it and decided to send it out anyway. Then later in the day, he said he wanted to try again, but was having the same difficulty, so I asked him if he wanted me to type it and he said yes.

He's having difficulty with puzzles now too. We worked one New Year's Eve but it was mostly me doing it. He said it's hard to see the pieces now. He got out another one today, and I've been working on it when he's awake. We can pull the card table right up to his chair so he can work too if he's up to it.

Did I tell you all about the new chair? It's an electronic lift chair. We saw it at the medical supply store when we bought Paul's cane. He sat in it and really liked it, so we decided to buy one for Christmas. You push one button and it goes all the way to a sleeping position, and you push another one and it goes nearly all the way to a standing position. It's really neat, and enables Paul to sit with his feet up, lay all the way back, or get up easily.

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Created: June 7, 1999
Last updated: July 20, 2010