I have been quiet on here lately because our circumstances have been a bit tough. I needed to get some things taken care of before I could share with people in general.
I will spare you all the details, but I will summarize by saying that Trent's care has been transferred to a Hospice team.
Our pastor met with us, as a family, to talk to the kids this week. I explained to them that the cancer was growing fast and that Dad's doctors were concerned. I told them that we would be having a "Hospice Nurse" come to the house and explained that these nurses are specially trained to help people feel as good as they can for as long as they can through the end of life. I reminded them that God is still in control - no matter the outcome, and that He loves them so very much. I told them I wanted them to know that, even though there will be tough days, they can trust that God will give them grace and strength for each step we have to take. I reminded them, too, that no one knows how long any of us has to live, but that each day we have is a gift from God and we need to live it the very best we can. As difficult as that conversation was to have, I really couldn't have asked for it to go any better than it did. I am grateful, too, for a pastor who takes the time and makes the effort to make sure our kids know how much he loves them and cares for our family.
After we had talked with the kids, we talked to the rest of the family. We then began letting others know, as well.
Thursday of this week was the day that we signed the paperwork for Hospice. Trent was uncomfortable with pain, and he asked me to sign for him. Some were no big deal, but some of those were papers I really did not want to sign. And then there is the POLST order. It ensures that, when the time comes, there will be no questions asked and no investigation, and it is to remain visible in the home. A constant reminder . . . .
It was nice, though, how quickly the Hospice team sets things in motion. Before we had even gotten the paperwork signed, our sweet nurse, Jenna, was on the phone with the Hospice physician asking for new orders to better manage Trent's pain and nausea. Within 15 minutes, the medication orders were in and scheduled to be delivered by courier.
Hospice offers several benefits. It means we no longer have to travel to appointments and get prescriptions on paper. There are no more trips to the pharmacy - not even for the over-the-counter meds like Prilosec or Miralax -- all of these items will be delivered by courier directly from the hospital. It means much more aggressive treatment of symptoms and more liberal dosing of medications. It means no more trips to the ER. It means that, if he gets in another 'pain crisis', we will have immediate help at our fingertips.
The past couple of weeks have been intense emotionally. There have been moments when I felt I couldn't go through what I was facing, but I have to remind myself of what I already know -- God will give me His strength when mine fails. The weaker I am, the more He can perfect His strength in me. My independent spirit doesn't like feeling weak. The more submissive side of me knows it is okay as long I seek strength from the right source.
As difficult as some of the moments have been recently, I still know that God is in control and that He has a purpose for every part of this. I want to walk this path in such a way that God's love and grace are allowed to shine through the circumstances, drawing people to Him.