Saturday, June 5, 2010


On January 14th, a Friday, I came in the morning the way I usually did. When I got there Chris and his brother (who had been spending days and nights at the hospital, much to Chris' joy) told me that the Chemotherapy doctor wanted to talk to me with Chris. It didn't feel like it was going to be a good thing. I ended up having to wait until the afternoon for him to get a chance to come up to talk to us.

While I waited I talked to Chris some. I asked him if he felt like this was it. He said no. I felt the same. He looked good, despite the fact that his health was declining daily.

When the doctor came up, he sat down with us and explained that they had not given up. They would continue to treat Chris as soon as his health started to improve. But, his health was not improving. He had gotten an infection that wasn't going away and he had an infection in his lungs. Terminal care was something we were going to have to consider. He asked Chris where he wanted to be when he died; in the hospital or at home. Chris said he'd prefer to stay there at the cancer center. He didn't think it would be good for the kids to have him like this at home.

It was a surreal day. I couldn't believe they were talking about TERMINAL care. His brother stayed with him again that evening.

I walked in Saturday morning and it seemed that everything had changed. Chris had an oxygen mask on and he was struggling to breath. I has nurses and doctors coming to me to get all the "DNR" paperwork signed and straightened out. Signing the paperwork was extraordinarily emotional and difficult for me.

When I walked in that morning and saw the condition Chris was in, I felt this WAS it. He was on the brink of death. The question lingering in my mind was... is he coming back? I felt overwhelming peace.

Many people stopped to see him that day. A good friend and the leader of our congregation gave Chris a priesthood blessing. Again, I felt such peace. I knew this trial was over for Chris. I knew that the outcome was completely up to Lord and that His will would manifest itself. I knew that he would make a turn for the better, or as he sat on the brink of death - he may cross over. I knew it could go either way, but I felt peace.

Chris struggled to breath all day By evening he decided he'd like some morphine. The doctor took me into the hall to make sure I understood this. The morphine would make him more comfortable, it would slow his breathing. But this could also expedite his death. My mother-in-law was there in the hall with me. She was tearful. I felt such sadness. For her. For Chris. For my kids.

I gave the doctor my approval and returned to the room to talk to Chris. I told him they were going to start him on the morphine and that it would make him more comfortable... that it would slow his breathing... but to the point that eventually... He finished my sentence with "it will be over". I replied with a "yes". He said, "OK".

I left early that evening so I could talk to the kids.


  1. Yeah, no mascara from here on out 'til I read a post that is titled: "Ladies you can wear your mascara".

  2. Shannon, I will be sure to post that the day it becomes safe. We are getting there! Thanks for reading sweetie! :)

  3. How appropo that "Be Still My Soul" should play as I flipped to view the heart goes out for you as my heart skipped a beat and breath escaped my soul, that of succombing to His will...

  4. It's painful to consider going through that experience. And then to be able to write about it so eloquently. Thank-you for sharing.