Dark halls~

We officially, so to speak, just reached the point where there are things that I or his daughter Bronwen, who is here with us, can no longer do for Handsome Husband.  We had been assisting him out of bed so that I could get him to the bathroom.  The last few times was a process that could take an hour easily, as he maneuvered his way from bed to edge of bed to standing while leaning on his cane, to wheelchair, from stationary oxygen tank to portable, to a small bathroom.  Once finished, reverse process, all the while with him zoning out, as we put it, between the meds and the disease.  Exhausting for everyone, painful for him, but it has been a way for Handsome to maintain some modicum of dignity and doing for himself.

All of this is no longer possible.  The pain caused by all the tumors that require him to be heavily medicated.  Neither he nor I can manage his body, and it breaks my heart to have to turn him over to the nurses and other staff here.  Its okay, I know that.  He’s so medicated that he may not even know.  But I do.

He looks like he’s dying.  His pupils are huge with the medications.  His hand, when I held it this morning, seems like it must soon explode, it is so swollen with lymphedema.   That’s the same arm where the dastardly Wilson resided.  Well, Wilson isn’t back but all of his cousins and relatives are, and Handsome Husband’s arm is thick with tumors of all sizes.  His nurse said that the pain level would be intolerable without the meds.  I believe him.

Handsome Husband’s body could be a study on the internal systems of the body and what happens when cancer attacks.  You know, one of those brightly colored maps that computers allow.  Hallucinations are ongoing with this poor man.  Except that they aren’t hallucinations as we interpret them necessarily, and he knows that they are hallucinations and that they aren’t real.   He is having rapid fire TIAs, which is why the hallucinations happen-the brain has to fill in the empty spaces in between the memory lapses.   This cancer has attacked all of his nerve endings, and that is causing tremors and trembling, which has to be exhausting.  Every part of his body is swollen in some way, or marked in some way, or shows, in some way, the horrible devastation that is happening.

I hope that he isn’t aware of this any longer.  I hope, in his mind, he is hiking Crater Lake, or looking out over beautiful Colorado from Pikes Peak.  I hope his mind sees Crazy Horse or wanders Custer’s Battlefield on a hot, lazy day with grasshoppers leaping through the tall grasses.   Go to the Pacific Coast Hwy in northern California, dear man, and remember the thrill we both felt when we gazed out over the ocean for the first time.  Be anywhere but here, I beg you.  I’m here with you, but more, I’m with you and remembering with you, the places we’ve been, and the places we’ve loved.   Our love is bigger than this, bigger than what has happened to your body.  We are still us, and I know, somewhere in you, you know this still and you are hanging on to that love.

I love you now.  Always did.  Always will.  Always.  Into the next life and back again.  I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart.


9 thoughts on “Dark halls~

  1. Alison… this is so beautiful.. my heart aches for both of you…. I am sure you want him to be released from the pain, but you dont want him to go… thinking of you…. wonderful that you shared a love like this…..

  2. Alison and family,
    I can remember the pain of having to
    let the medical personnel take over. It
    Is a very hard thing to do. But remember
    this, Chuck can still hear you and feel your
    Loving touch. So keep doing what you have
    been doing, and tell him all you need and
    want to say to him. He can hear you but can’t
    respond. He knows that you Love him and will
    see that he is comforted and loved until the
    end. So sorry… For all that you are you are experiencing. I know first hand how hard it A glance at the search for Boston bomb suspects
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    34 minutes ago

    This combination of photos provided on Friday, April 19, 2013 by the Federa…
    BOSTON (AP) — Key moments related to the search for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, based on reports from the Massachusetts governor, the Middlesex County district attorney, Massachusetts State Police and Boston police.

    — At 5:10 p.m. Thursday, investigators of the bombings release photographs and video of two suspects. They ask for the public’s help in identifying the men.

    — Around 10:20 p.m., shots are fired on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, just outside Boston.

    — At 10:30 p.m., an MIT campus police officer who was responding to a disturbance is found shot multiple times in his vehicle, apparently in a confrontation with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. He is later pronounced dead.

    — Shortly afterward, two armed men reportedly carjack a Mercedes SUV in Cambridge. A man who was in the vehicle is held for about a half hour and then released unharmed at a gas station on Memorial Drive in Cambridge.

    — Police soon pursue the carjacked vehicle in Watertown, just west of Cambridge.

    — Some kind of explosive devices are thrown from the vehicle in an apparent attempt to stop police. The carjackers and police exchange gunfire. A transit police officer is seriously injured. One suspect, later identified as Suspect No. 1 in the marathon bombings, is critically injured and later pronounced dead.

    — Authorities launch a manhunt for the other suspect.

    — Around 1 a.m. Friday, gunshots and explosions are heard in Watertown. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents converge on a Watertown neighborhood. A helicopter circles overhead.

    — Around 4:30 a.m., Massachusetts state and Boston police tell people living in that section of eastern Watertown to stay in their homes. They identify the carjackers as the same men suspected in the marathon bombings. Overnight, police also release a photograph of a man believed to be Suspect No. 2 wearing a gray hoodie-style sweatshirt. The image apparently is from surveillance video taken at a gas station.

    — Around 5:50 a.m. authorities urge residents in Watertown, Newton, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge, Arlington and the Allston-Brighton neighborhoods of Boston to stay indoors. All mass transit is shut down.

    — Around 6:35 a.m., The Associated Press reports that the bomb suspects are from a Russian region near Chechnya and lived in the United States for at least a year.

    — Around 6:45 a.m., The Associated Press identifies the surviving Boston bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, who has been living in Cambridge.

    — Around 8 a.m., Boston’s police commissioner says all of Boston must stay in their homes as the search for the surviving suspect in the bombings continues.

    — Around 8:40 a.m., a U.S. law enforcement official and the uncle of the suspects confirm that the name of the slain suspect is Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s older brother.

    — Around 10:20 a.m., Connecticut State Police say a car believed to be linked to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been recovered in Boston. They initially call it a Honda CRV, but authorities later say it was a Honda Civic.

    — Around 10:35 a.m., the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth says it closed its campus and ordered an evacuation after confirming that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is registered there. The school says it closed the campus “out of an abundance of caution” as the search continued.

    — Around 11:30 a.m., Massachusetts State Police explain that the brothers suspected in the bombings were in the Honda when they carjacked the Mercedes SUV. For a while, each drove one of the two vehicles, but then ditched the Honda and reunited in the Mercedes.

    — Around 12:35 p.m., state police in Watertown say officers are searching door-to-door but still have not found the bombing suspect.

    — Around 6:30 p.m., Massachusetts Gov. Patrick Deval announces that mass transit is resuming and the “stay indoors” order is being lifted even though one suspect remains on the lam. State police say that suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, fled on foot and there is indication he has a vehicle. They believe he is still in the state because of his ties to the area.

    —Around the time the order is lifted, a flurry of gunfire breaks out in the same community that was being searched. Law enforcement officials locate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a boat parked behind a home.

    —Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is taken into custody by police at approximately 8:45 p.m. Spontaneous applause breaks out among police and onlookers surrounding the scene and residents take to the streets to cheer police.

    Associated Press

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    is to watch your loved one succumb to this
    horrible disease. I will continue to pray for all
    of you, and will pray for a peaceful state of
    mind for Chuck so that he can “transition”
    home in a relaxed and pain free state. Lots
    of Love and comforting Hugs from NJ.

  3. This point in the process is heartbreaking. It’s hard being the caregiver and HARDER to give up the reigns to someone else. I’ve been there more than once and I so feel your pain through my own experiences. HUGS!

  4. Hospice care is the most loving and respectful The staff at the hospital will care for him physically. with gentleness and compassion. Even though you will no longer be able to physically help him your presence will be calming and soothing to him.

    The therapist at the cancer center where my mother and sister went had also been a hospice nurse. I remember telling her that a few days before my father passed I was sure there were others in the room with us and that my father saw them, when he would open his eyes he would smile and he would look like a young man to me. The therapist, Mari, told me that at that point my father was in between worlds preparing to move on and that the presence I felt were spirits of those who loved my father, guides that were waiting to welcome him. It gave me great peace of mind knowing my father was surrounded by love on both sides, by my family who sat at his bedside and love from those who greet and guide him as he moved onto the other side.

  5. Dear Alison,
    i was a classmate of Chuck’s. There is nothing I can add to all the tributes that have not already been said. I just want to tell you that my heart will miss him. I know in my faith, that He is clothed in robes of white and has seen our Father’s face. What a great comfort to know that is is free from pain and is at peace. He will always be with you. you will hear his voice on the wind, you will see him smiling at you and you will feel his hugs. Thank you for allowing all of us to journey with you. To go places some of us will never see. God bless you and your family.

Talk to me~

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