Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Mar. 30, 1999

Renette Davis

Paul had a pretty good day yesterday. He slept most of the morning and afternoon. Even when his good friend Bob stopped by, he barely opened his eyes. It's possible that he was just worn out from all the activity over the weekend. However, I noticed a couple of times that when he did open his eyes, they didn't seem focused, which was something new.

He perked up in the late afternoon and evening. Philip and Karen were both here for supper, and we were able to get Paul to eat a little bit. After the kids left, we watched the end of the bicycling video that we had started a couple of days earlier. It was really interesting. For you bicyclists, it's called Bicycle: A Celebration of the Invention, and it was produced by Famous Cycling Videos, Inc. If any of you want to borrow it, you're welcome to do so.

Paul slept well last night. He was still sleeping when I woke up this morning, and I noticed that his breathing was very shallow. He had some periods of no breathing. I didn't think to count how long they were, but I don't think it was over 15 seconds. When I told the nurse about it, the first thing she asked me was how long the periods of not breathing were.

He was very talkative this morning. He talked about my Dad, pointed up and said something about spirit. I asked him if he saw my Dad's spirit, and he said "Yes." The nurse who was here during the night said that when she started working for Hospice, it really freaked her out when patients seemed to be talking to people who had died, but now it doesn't surprise her at all. She said it's very common. A little later, Paul reached out his hands and said very clearly, "Wow, look at that" and then he talked about spirits again.

We still have Hospice crisis care. I was really surprised that they didn't stop it after the weekend because the anti-seizure medication in suppository form seems to be working ok, and monitoring that was the official reason for going on crisis care. The Hospice counsellor had told me that we would have crisis care when death is near, and I wonder now if that's why we still have it. Our regular nurse didn't come yesterday, but the one who did come asked me if I had the booklet "Gone from my Sight" which describes the dying process. It seems like we are seeing quite a few of the end of life signs now.

My prayer now is that when death comes for Paul it will be peaceful.

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Created: June 14, 1999
Last updated: July 21, 2010