Nov 19, 2011 - 12:20 pm
I am sorry for the blunt subject line, but my husband died at home in his own bed early Monday morning, 18 months to the day that we were told about his primary liver cancer. I think it might be a reassurance to some of you to know he lived a pretty energetic and healthy life until the beginning of August, and then only spent two full days in bed before he died - no hallucinations, and had no neuropathy. I think it was the grace of God that spared him the symptoms that would have been most distressing to him. He was 77 years old.
Like so many of you, my husband was courageous beyond belief, and also decisive about what he wanted to endure in the face of a diagnosis that didn't provide much hope in the way of treatment. He decided to participate in a clinical trial for sorafenib and erlotinib/placebo for humanitarian purposes, and was on it from late July 2010 to February 2011. He also had bile duct stents placed while the After that he decided on hospice care - and for those of you who are being offered palliative care, his hospice nurse was tremendous, He took an non-narcotic elixir than eliminated his nausea and gave him an appetite for three meals a day up until the last weekend. Ever-increasing weakness was difficult for him, as well as the build-up of fluids in his body, but neither caused him pain, and diurectics did help. He asked for an orange juice smoothie the afternoon before he died, and skipped dinner for the first time. An hour after our home health aide left he developed pain that lasted about five hours, which seemed to be alleviated by some liquid morphine, and the energy it took to endure that left him breathing hard, but regularly. He died in his sleep shortly after.