256 Days and Still Declining

There was not any improvement in Travis’ condition over the last few days. He and his body just continue to slow down more and more every day. He still sleeps more than he is awake. His breathing is a little irregular. Today was the first day that he seems to have trouble responding to me. I also noticed that he is not talking as much today. His right side (extremities) had been completely immobile. Last night, I noticed that he was having trouble keeping his head centered, it kept rolling to the right. So apparently, he slept with his head in that position all night long. Thus this morning’s pain medicine was for how bad his neck hurt. We are now using pillows to prop his head on each side so that it stays center.

Of course, none of us can say when Travis will head to heaven but a safe guess from Hospice is anywhere from 2-3 weeks. If Travis slips into a coma first then we are looking at days. If he does not slip into a coma, because he is young and healthy, he could go longer than 3 weeks. No one really knows but we are no longer counting in months, just weeks. I will say that I sense that Travis is ready and he seems at peace.

During Travis’ sickness, he was always pretty in tune to where I was and if I left the house, he would usually ask repeatedly when I would be back. When he is awake now, he tracks me all the time with his eyes. I try to make sure that if he is awake, that I stay within his line of vision because it seems to put him at ease.

Now in this moment, I have been so glad that I have had the hard discussions with the children about their dad and what the end might be like. As the days have gone by, the spend almost the whole day in our room with their dad. We have talked about them taking the time over the next few days to say “goodbye” and anything else they feel that they have left to say.

If I ever had doubted my decision about Hospice, I don’t now. It gave us the best of the time that we had left with Travis and I am so glad that I made that decision when I did.

Every little sign and indicator that appears just seems to make me grieve more. I think the hardest thing to do is to watch someone slowly slip away little by little. I was looking at pictures the other day and realizing how much Travis has changed physically since right before being diagnosed and even in the beginning of his treatment. I looked at one picture and immediately my heart said, “Oh, there he is.” I knew that his appearance had changed but not until I looked at pictures did I realize how much.

253 Days and a Gradual Decline

The last few days have not gone as we had planned. Of course none of this has been as we have planned.

Travis was pretty weak on Sunday so he did not get out of bed that day. Even though we missed the sunset, we ordered Outback for dinner (Travis’ favorite) and the children set up a folding table in our bedroom so we could all eat together. It was a great evening and just felt perfect.

Monday was pretty much the same. Travis just cannot put any strength into helping himself get up. He also does not even really feel like getting out of bed. I am making sure that we are propping him with pillows every couple of hours and moving his arms and legs so his overall stiffness will be less. He slept quite a bit on Monday. Tuesday was a repeat of the two days before except that maybe he slept a little more. Sometimes he falls asleep with food in his hand in the middle of eating. At that point, I have to make sure that there is no food left in his mouth that he did not swallow so that he does not aspirate while sleeping. I am trying to offer food whenever he wakes up and as of now, he is still eating that.

After Travis stayed in bed on Sunday, the children decided that they wanted to move the TV into our bedroom so they could just hang out in the same room with dad. For the past few days, all the children have been in our room just being close to their dad. That has been really peaceful and special for all of us.

A couple of months ago, Travis went through the same thing for a few days and then seemed to bounce back. At this point, Hospice and I are waiting to see what happens. He is still eating, drinking, talking and responding so nothing is really imminent. He has had a few more headaches and just general aches and pains from lying in bed but the pain medicine seems to resolve the pain very quickly for him.

At this point, we are asking for no more visitors and that the time Travis has left be spent with his family. If he ends up bouncing back from this, then we will probably revise the visiting policy.

It has been hard for me to deal with the my emotions regarding the finality of this. It was always there in the back of my heart and my head but with Travis plateauing for so long, it was easy to ignore. Now, it is not so easy for me. The children seemed to be handling it much better than I am currently. The closer their dad gets to heaven, the closer they want to be to him. That brings such a comfort and peace to my heart because that is how it should be.

250 Days and Remaining Stable

We officially passed the 8 month mark this month. That is so hard to believe. In many ways, it seems much longer and in other ways it seems that Travis has not been sick that long.

Travis is still leveled off at this point, nothing really new to report. He did get a cold and we are working on trying to get rid of a lingering cough but his lungs continue to remain clear. He is having some isolated headaches (only 2 or 3 so far) and we are able to control them with pain medicine. He is still talking and his appetite is good.

This time has been good for us. We just spend it together hanging out. In fact, one of the children remarked recently that sometimes they forget that Travis has a brain tumor because it is like it always was…just us being together.

Even with today being Father’s Day, the children and I are focusing on today and not what’s around the corner. They each made Travis cards this year (it has been years since they’ve done that) because they all had things that wanted to express from their heart. Hopefully if Travis feels up for it, we will be heading out to the beach this evening to watch the sunset.

Thank you all for your prayers, cards, gift cards, money, meals, etc. It has been so comforting to know that we have so many that love and care for our family.

I will try to update again soon.