[MOL] Tom Today [02320] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Tom Today



Dear Friends:
    I just came home for an hour to get some things and check my emails.  I 
was so touched by all your messages.  I really can't say how and when the end 
will come but it won't be easy.  Last night we asked our onc for an 
assessment in front of Tom who has always been in denial about this.  The onc 
told us that Tom was in a critical situation because they can't control the 
infection--in fact although they're calling it pneumonia, they haven't 
actually identified the infection so they're throwing every antibiotic they 
have at him.  His breathing is also getting significantly worse.  He could 
not use the little nose inserts but had to sleep with the stronger air mask 
all night.  I also learned that his liver numbers are abnormal and this 
morning he woke with a new pain in the liver area.  I guess all the chemo and 
this additional junk and pills have destroyed that organ too.  Last night he 
was saying he was ready to die and didn't want to suffer.  Our onc told me 
privately we could put him on a morphine drip right then--when I mentioned 
this to Tom he was horrified and said our onc was cruel (which is not true, 
he's very kind, just honest).  If he makes it through the weekend and I think 
he will, they are thinking of doing a bronchoscopy to try to "identify the 
infection"  So what if they do and they treat it.  The bronchoscopy itself is 
very invasive and it would only be a matter of time till a new infection 
cropped up.  Tom says he won't leave the hospital till his infection is gone 
no matter what our insurance says.  This morning, after sleeping with the 
strong air mask and numerous percocets, decacadron, prednisone, nebulizers, 
etc.  he woke up weak but feeling much better and said he was going to lick 
this and make it.  I am at my wits end and really don't know what to do and 
say knowing the sad sad reality of all this.
He has been very unlucky--not even a year since diagnosis, no response to any 
chemo which is probably what weakened his immune system to begin with.  
Although he once told me he wanted to die at home, my instinct is he would be 
very frightened and it would be better for him to be in the hospital.  Will 
let you all know what happens.  Love, Bess
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