It's a creekmore world

Final Cancer Week 26: The ‘H’ word

Trish reads trash at the Oncologist hoping to get some chemo.

As we got home from the Oncologists office Thursday night, Trish quickly began to fade. In retrospect, I think the news that she couldn’t get treatment for a fourth time was so devastating that she lost some of her will and hope.

She stopped eating and drinking, barely got out of bed even to pee, and slept. We were saddened to see her uncomfortable, but the severe anemia makes you lethargic, so it wasn’t particularly alarming.

But then Friday night she was up all night in pain. Becky, her sister, stayed awake with her as Trish writhed and cried. She pointed to her right hip, the same place that had been radiated in August, then full of cancer.  Presumably it had come back.

The urgency to pee was there, but she could only dribble. And going to the bathroom was so complicated because we had no bedpan (which don’t work well anyway the nurses tell me – they always spill)

Becky at the oncologist with Trisha

Becky almost work me up she was so concerned. (She and I would switch off night care for Trish.)  I could see her visibly shaken having watched Trish go through that. “I think she’s really suffering”.  Trish got a little better in the morning and slept most of Saturday.  We decided to wait it out.  Maybe it was temporary.

In the afternoon, I talked to Trish’s primary Oncologist, Dr. Hendricks, who hinted that we should be looking at getting hospice care for the home. In her estimation the cancer has gone too far if it’s causing this pain.  And Trish has already missed 4 weeks of chemo because she is too weak.  I knew the chances wer low that she could pull this out, but it was a lot harder to hear.

Trisha with Becky, Paula and Monty doing some practice physical therapy just a few weeks ago. (Early September)

The ‘H’ word.

Six weeks ago, we alarmed Dr. Hendricks when we said the word ‘Hospice’. All we wanted was some nursing support for the home, and we thought we could get that from hospice care.

You can get home support from hospice care, but it generally also means giving up all medical treatment – including radiation or chemotherapy. Dr. Hendricks summoned us in after we asked for hospice, ready to forcefully dissuade us from forgoing treatment. But we quickly realized it was a misunderstanding.

This time is was not a misunderstanding. Dr. Hendricks is telling me she doesn’t think there is any more chance to prolong Trish’s life safely and painlessly.  Trish she responded with alarm – even in her fatigued anemic state.

She knew what hospice means. Hospice is the final chapter. But we hadn’t made the decision yet, and Dr. Hendricks only hinted at it, so I remained hopeful that we could still find a way to achieve remission and get a little more life.

Accepting her fate

Trish is doing as well as can be expected of a young dying mother who was swinging from the bars of the trapeze rig and adventure-traveling around Africa just 90 days ago. She doesn’t complain. She never asks ‘why did this happen to me?’ or even suggest this isn’t fair. She doesn’t pity herself or want yours.

She is as defiant and disrespectful of the authority of nature as she was of any other authority. (Former bosses know what I’m talking about.)

At times, there is great optimism, but there is a growing resignation of fate. Earlier this week, when were discussing medical issues, she burst in to tears and said ‘Will I ever be able to go to Honduras and swim with whale sharks?’. It broke my heart, but I had to tell her that it was very unlikely. Although we were still hopeful she could rebound and get a little quality of life, the possibility of going to a third world country is unimaginable.

Whalesharks are the largest of the shark family. Harmless and migratory, it’s one of the great experiences of the sea to swim near one.

Becky found an aquarium in Atlanta where you can swim with a whale shark in a tank, and supposedly they have handicapped access. If we can get some stability in her condition, we will fly there and jump in the water with the world largest fish. Trish was excited that was possible. She’s done nearly everything she ever wanted to do in life, except swim with a whale shark.

She and I had a moment alone on Saturday. The girls were with friends, and the sisters Becky and Paula were both on airplanes, one coming to us, and the other leaving – the changing of the guard. We had just returned from Suburban hospital where she had blood drawn in advance of the Monday transfusion.

Playing in a wheelchair while Trish sleeps at the radiologist. (August)

The tears started streaming from my face. “Trish, you have been my best friend, and I will always love you. I will take care of your girls, I promise.”

She held my hand and put her limp arm around me. I know she was groggy with meds, but she told me she loved me and that it would all be okay. “You’ll get through it.” She said confidently. And she didn’t let go of my hand until she fell asleep.

The dark night

The night became a nightmare. By 9:30pm she was restless and moaning in her sleep. I watched her closely. This wasn’t normal. An hour later she yelled ‘stop, stop, stop’ and what followed for the next 4 hours was the most excruciating agony I have ever seen someone go through.

Trish in pain, anemic and helpless.

She would emit a muffled scream while clutching her right hip. ‘Ok, Ok, Ok’ she would tell herself, eyes closed, as if to psych herself up. The pain would come in waves and break through the Dilauded painkillers at the highest authorized dose. ‘Please help me’ she mumbled. There was no comfortable position.

I panicked and considered taking her to the emergency room, but that itself would be difficult and painful. Near midnight, I got the approval from her Doctor to give her as many painkillers as it took to control the pain. There is no maximum dose for terminal cancer patients, and they don’t OD, especially if they have become tolerant.

It was a great relief that I could try that instead of heading to the emergency room on Saturday at midnight. And I deeply appreciate that the doctor called me back so late on a Saturday.

Paula and Becky, Trish’s sisters, have been so supportive and helpful. I could not have done this without them.

Paula, Trish’s sister, arrived from Tahoe around midnight to a very frightening scene. The dilaudid takes 90 minutes to reach full strength, and it took me a few more hours before I got enough in her to control the pain. By 2:00 am she began to sleep, fitfully but without the severe pain.

Paula and I talked a bit, but there was just a lot of silence and tears. She gets it. There isn’t much to say. We are getting closer to the end. This is what they said it would be like – thing go badly fast.  Trish continued to talk and mumble but we had finally controlled the pain with 48 mg, which was equal to her entire day’s dose just a week ago.

Trish and I going to the hospital the first time, in August. We look badass, right?

At 5am, Trish reported no pain at all, and I nodded off for 30 minutes.  She awoke me with crying whispers ‘help, it hurts’.   Fuck it comes on so fast.

We repeated the pattern. It took another 90 minutes to control the pain again. She was incontinent, so confused that she was nearly unable to take her pain pills, and increasingly short of breath.

I called the doctor back at 10am and based on my report from the night, she instructed us to head to the emergency room. Trish needed better pain management than the slow-release oral Dilauded can deliver.

Paula and I struggled to get her in my car, she was entirely dead-weight. She pee’d everywhere. We changed her twice. The third time we just left it. I played the Slash/Iggy Pop song ‘Pee on the ground’ for her in the car. I got a faint smile and chuckle from Trish. Paula stayed back with the girls, and I took Trish to the ER. I did not know it at the time, but this was probably Trish’s last car ride.

Trish, nearly unconcious, in the ER

Emergency Room

The ER on Sunday is mostly filled with sunday sports injuries, some serious and some mild. Across from me is a couple whose 22 year old daughter overdosed. The girl is flopping on the floor refusing to sit in the wheelchair, and with her eyes rolled back in her head, softly says to her mother ‘You hate me. You hate me.’ It’s sad.

My daughters won’t even have a mom with whom to be that angry. It doesn’t seem fair.  I shouldn’t be so bitter, but sometimes I can’t help it.

When they checked her in we were told to wait about an hour, but it took twice that long. My blood sugar got low and Trish was comletely passed out in the wheelchair. I macguyvered a makeshift pillow out of an umbrella bag so she could sleep and I grabbed the best I could find from the vending machine.

My world in the ER

Once we were admitted, a nice doctor came right over to our room five. Quickly and apologetically he asked the usual questions, and emphatically said he’s sorry we had to wait so long in the ER.

Nurses start coming in and out. One of them says ‘She doesn’t look good, let’s get this moving.’ I don’t think she suffered in the ER because she just slept, but WTF? How could they let people that need a few stitches in ahead of Trish?

She barely responded to the nurses when they ask her name. She’s been mostly unresponsive today. I couldn’t even get her to take her medications while we waited.  She appears to sleep as nurses come in and access her port for blood, get her on oxygen tubes and start the intravenous narcotics, but I’m worried she is still experiencing pain and fear.

Somewhere inside that dying body is still my beautiful bride Trisha. Her fingers close over my hand ever so slightly and I know she is there. Her hand looks so tiny on mine. They are dry and flakey from dehydration, pale yellow from anemia and weak from exhaustion. But she’s in there.

Again I burst into tears and I have to lean over and hold her head close. I love her so much. She responds a little and does a little cry, almost like a purr. She doesn’t want me to be sad, I know.

Life wasn’t supposed to be this way.

Respite from pain

The nurse suggests I go and get something to eat. I guess I look pretty bad. The time is needed to make calls to family, which are incredibly hard.

How do you tell a mom that her daughter is dying? We all know what this probably means – she is probably too weak to do any more treatment whatsoever. Palliative care and hospice support will be next.  Her Mom cried and cried.

Exhausted and stresses,  I could do little more than figure out how to get through the night.  I’ll figure out what needs to come next tomorrow. Trisha got transferred from the ER to the oncology unit around 8pm, and with the IV dilauded, she was definitely no longer in pain. She’s remained unresponsive and couldn’t even say her name and date of birth.

As they rolled her into the small double-room in the oncology ward, the Nurse technician emitted a little shriek and held up Trish’s catheter bag. It was completely full of dark, almost orange pee. The three nurses each gasped and scrambled to empty it before it bursts.

Trish had three liters of pee in her bladder she couldn’t get out. The nurses formed a bucket brigade to empty the bag into the nearby toilet. A small woman’s bladder might hold 1 liter at most, and you’d feel the need to pee with only a third of that.  Three liters is epic pee.

We find out later that either the cancer is blocking the urethra, or more likely there is more nerve damage to the bladder and it is also paralyzed. It’s a good thing we got her into the emergency room today.

Trish’s nurse was sweet, but during the night, when Trish’s blood pressure went to 75/50, she shut off the painkiller pump. That was apparently a big no-no, and she gets reprimanded for it in the morning.

Trish didn’t suffer though, mostly because even with the pump off, she had so much residual dilauded in the system that the pain was controlled. They put her back on around 8am and she was just beginning to feel pain again.

Confirming the bad news

Dr. Hendricks came to us at 6am Monday morning. The sun rose over the helipad of the hospital.  As usual, she is wearing sporty looking bike clothes from her morning ride.

I know this drill.  It’s the most important part of our hospital day, these early morning visits.  She woke me from my little sleeping chair, and we talked. Aside from the nurse’s mistake everything else went well. Trish got two units of blood overnight, drained the bladder and got lots of pain medicine. We dealt with the immediate issues.

She confirms her suspicions and our fears, that the cancer is unchecked and uncontrollable. There isn’t any real place for chemotherapy or radiation now – just palliative care and the H-word.

Trish is fairly coherent, the first time I have seen her talking in three and a half days, it seems contrary to stop treatment now that she is ‘better.’ But part of me knows that this is a spiral and though she may be okay on and off, I accept the doctors assessment.

Trish and Emma at trapeze during her 2010 chemotherapy.

Dr. Hendricks loves Trisha. She saw Trisha fight in 2010 to get back to the trapeze rig and dance. I know she wouldn’t recommend abandoning treatment if there were any good options.

She gives us a day to think it over, and Trish and I are alone again in her hospital room that she shares with a woman, 90-years-old, who snores most of the time. Trish looks at me and asks ‘Is this it?’ and I cry again. ‘Yes, this is it, hun. We just need to keep you out of pain’. She too is confused because she doesn’t remember the last few days, although she is convinced something bad happened because she’s in the hospital.

Trish, the morning after the Emergency Room, still in the hospital.

I recounted the weekend and showed her some pictures I took of her. She was shocked that she couldn’t remember anything, especially the pain.

It was like it happened to another person. “I know you don’t remember it, but please believe me that that Trisha was in deep pain and wanted help.” That must be so, so confusing and disorienting. Trish understood that we had to make a decision.

Shortly thereafter, as the medication began to kick in, she got really high and didn’t know where she was. When I asked her which hospital we were at she said ‘Holy Cross’ – a place we’ve never been. We are at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

And when the Price Is Right came on the TV, she would keep asking the nurse ‘Did I win something?’ each time the bells rang (ding ding ding) on the show. Paula arrived to take over for me and Trish said randomly ‘I thought you were bringing me a cat.’

I’m dazed myself after the last 36 hours.  I’ve barely slept and havn’t eaten.  I leave Paula and head home for the hardest thing I will ever do: tell my kids their mom is dying soon.

68 thoughts on “Final Cancer Week 26: The ‘H’ word

  1. Alexa Carnibella

    There are no words to say, especially coming from a stranger. Your words, Trish’s strong fight and will to live have humbled me. I am so very sorry. Bless you, Trish and your girls.

  2. JennB

    I am so sorry for Trish’s struggle. She is fortunate to have such a supportive partner as you, and I am glad you’re reaching out for help. I wish there was something this stranger on this side of the screen could do to lessen your burden.

  3. Carrie

    David, I saw your post liked from Fake AP Stylebook on Facebook. My heart goes out to you and your family. My mother died two years ago from liver cancer and I felt the world fall away when the doctor said the H word. I’m a journalist and years before had spent several months following a Hospice patient through the process of dying. I had no idea that story would in some ways prepare me for my own mother’s death. I am so sorry that your family is enduring this. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. Debi

    I saw this posted on Fake AP Stylebook’s Facebook page and clicked through. My heart and prayers go out to you all.

  5. glee

    My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. I hope Trish is released from her pain soon and that you and your family can heal. The H word is possibly the most difficult word to hear. I know that the first time a hospice worked explained what it meant (in terms of no more treatment, we now work to keep pain away) i completely rejected it because I wasn’t ready to let my beloved husband go. As the pain increased and the body shut down, it was clear to us all that keeping him in that failing body was even more unfair than letting him go. So hard to let one’s beloved go. I am glad, however, that you’ve captured this time in writing. Someday your children may want to know. And you’ll be ready.

  6. Nancy Griffin

    Aw, geez. I spent a few nights in a hospice with a dear friend who was dying of cancer. Longest nights of my life but knowing they were last of his was so painful. All you want to do is take away the hurt and inevitability. My heart aches for you.

  7. Heather

    I just came across your blog (also FakeAPStylebook) and I am inspired to live more adventurously. (I’ll try!) Wishing you and your family courage and peace – thank you for sharing your story. My heart goes out to you all.

  8. Crystal from Discovery

    Trish, I’m praying for you and your family. You’re one of the kindest people I ever worked with. You’re beautiful spirit and love for life will always be remembered. God Bless!

  9. Karen Washington

    I remember Trish from High School. After seeing a mutual friends FB page and your lovingly narrated blog of Trish’s ordeal, I had to cry. I wish I had the words, any words to say how sorry I am for your plight in this world. Trish you are a brave and courageous soul. I’m hoping for a miracle…….

  10. Lisa Messano

    Your stories came to me via a Facebook post from a friend and colleague. You are doing such a beautiful job in sharing the brutal honesty of the journey you and Trish (and your extended support network) are on together. Thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable and broken open so that others can benefit from your joy, and suffering. With loving kindness and many blessings – Lisa

  11. Val

    David, you are amazing to hold it together for your family. We’re not acquainted, but your story is just incredible and sad and modern and unfair. Thank you for sharing what is so real–reminding me to love every minute, my girls, my husband and offer up any daily insignificant sufferings to Trisha. God bless you all and may she be peaceful and comfortable soon.

  12. Jeanne and Carl Regan

    Dear David, I have just read your blog and seen your photos of what you, Tricia, Lilly and Emma are going through. I cried. It seems impossible that this can be your reality. So much love, so much creativity, so brave, all of you. My heart goes out to you all. I am so sorry. You are in our prayers. Marjorie’s friends from Key Biscayne, Florida, Jeanne and Carl Regan

  13. wordhacks

    I was terrified when I first heard the H-word regarding my stepfather’s bad heart last year. It’s tough to wrap your mind around, and to see him in that state was scary. I lost count of how many times I paced the entire floor as his family trickled in and out of the room to say goodbye. A few of those scared, sad feelings came flooding back as I read through your post.

    My heart breaks for you and your family. You have a beautiful way of writing about your ordeal, and there’s a part of me that wishes that we had a way to quiet your pain, too.

    After reading through some of your posts, I think I need to live my life as adventurously as you both have.

    Thoughts and good vibes heading your way from a stranger in California.

  14. Julie

    To the Creekmore family, I too do not know you. I linked to your page one day when I saw a photo of a man in a tutu!! I absolutely love your family’s sense of adventure. I am so sorry that Trish is now leaving you all. It is so incredibly hard to lose a loved one. When she goes on her final trip, perhaps you can take comfort in the fact that she packed more into her short life than so many other people much older. I will pray for relief for her and for a sense of peace to soon wrap around you.

  15. Liz

    Trish & David, my friend Krista posted this blog sharing your story for us to hear. I wanted to say personally, I am very sorry for what you’re all going through right now, this last chapter is such a difficult one. I can’t imagine what your experience is like, however I’ve had to accept losing a loved one, the last chapter of my Memere’s life being set up on hospice. The one positive thing that I can take from my experience was that it gives you such a special time with each other and your family, and a chance to make peace with everything. When my Memere was dying she wasn’t exactly lucid at the time, in and out of it… but even with that being the case I got to watch her work through all the moments of her life, making peace with all of it, as she said her goodbyes in her moments of clarity. You truly learn a lot about a person and yourself when in these situations. It’s not fair that this is happening to someone so young. I hope that you continue to lean on each other and make the most of the time you have. It sounds like Trish was an incredible person.

    Even though I don’t know your family, please know that I am thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way.

  16. Candace Niles

    I saw your story on facebook and I couldn’t help but click on it and read. You are stranger, but I felt so compelled to post something to you. I am so sorry for what you are going through. CANCER, I HATE THAT WORD SO MUCH. It takes so much from so many. I lost both of my parents to cancer and my father-in-law. They were much older than your precious Trish though. All I can say from experience is although you have probably feared this time, deep down you knew one day it was coming no matter how much you prayed and stayed positive. This doesn’t make you negative, this makes you human and preparing yourself for the loss. There is nothing on this planet worse than watching someone who we love so deeply in pain and not being able to live their life as they once did. You definately made every moment count for Trish, and although you all hate the cards you were dealt, the most important thing in the world is that Trish will leave this world so very loved. She will soon be a beautiful angel to all of you and will be healed and free of pain. Hospice is a wonderful place. I never did have to leave my parents with them b/c they were in nursing homes. However, they spent hours and hours on the phone with me helping me to make so many hard decisions that I felt I was not qualified to make. Embrace all the help that is offered to you. I will keep Trish and your whole family in my prayers and hugs to your girls. I pray for so much peace to all of you.

  17. Ninnah Curtis

    Thank you, David, for sharing your journey with us. I am an old classmate of Trish’s, fighting stage four lung Cancer. I have tried looking up how the end might come and keep finding placating words. It sounds harsh but thank you for the reality. I can tell you, having had a couple bouts of the blinding pain already and come out, that the mind does overload and wipe the memory. I am so sorry to hear your pain, and wish I could say something right. She is so lucky to have your arms in which to warm herself, the journey is hardest alone.

  18. Elizabeth Osder

    David, thank you for your generosity in sharing this beautiful and painful journey. Trish has been in my thoughts, as you and your girls have been too. I knew Trish back in the early ’90s just out of jschool with creativity, zest and attitude that would one day conjure your beautiful life together…sending lots of love…from a distance admirer and colleague that always thought of Trish as as “the coolest.”

  19. Cehon Davis

    Hi David and Trish this is Cehon from Broadcasters Child
    Development Center.I am so very sorry to hear about Trish. This should not of happened to you guys your such wonderful parents, and friends. Everyone at BCDC is praying for you guys. Lajuan and I want to let you know that we are hear for you, please let me know when we can come visit even if you need us to watch the girls, or come play with them. You can contact me at cehon1@yahoo.com or cell (202)590-8272

  20. Dorothy Harty Yanis

    David and Trish what sn amazingly painful journey that your wonderful family has had to endure and yet through this you have inspired so many. To you all I wish for peace and no more pain. Truly amazing you all are. <3

  21. Jeanne

    I worked with Trish at Discovery on and off in 2008/2009. I also lost my mom to cancer as a teenager. I just wanted to add one more voice to the chorus. I am thinking of you all.. and sending you wishes for peace and effective pain meds.

  22. Kavita

    Sending all my love out to you and your family right now. I am absolutely in awe of Trish’s heroic journey through life, determined to squeeze out every last drop of juice. Wishing you and the girls all the strength you need during these terrible times, and sending Trish much love and respect. Always.

  23. Anamika Nelson

    Hi David, I saw Anthony’s comment on Facebook and felt compelled to reach out to you. I remember meeting Trish at an Internews event a few years ago and thought she was just wonderful. I am sending you and Trish prayers, peace and love.

  24. Aviva

    What the fuck can I say? All I want to do is run to D.C. and put my arms around both of you and not let go. In grad school, Trish was my soul sister. We went through so much together and both came out on top. I love her so much! She is one of the most amazing women I know. A real fucking rock star! I’m not a religious person but if I were, I’d have to assume that God was taking her because she wanted Trish all to herself. Who wouldn’t? If you decide you want company this weekend, Dave, I can still come down. And if there’s anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to reach out. xxxxxoooo, Viv

  25. Mischa

    Hello David. This is Mischa Boyer-Nelson. You may or may not remember me from my time at Internews. Beautiful piece. Wishing you some peace in the coming months. Very sorry your family must go through this.

  26. Jenny

    The lives the Creekmore family have and will touch and change through sharing Trish’s story… cancer just sucks but you guys are awesome. So glad I took that dive trip that year so that I too could be forever changed by our chance meeting. Rock on Trish! Love and prayers from Ruson Louisiana

  27. Scott Truesdale

    My wife Angie works for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. If we can help in some way, please let us know.

  28. Jessica Snow

    Trisha is one of the most fun, courageous and wild of people.. I’ll never forget her contagious laugh… I can’t believe someone as strong as she must now submit to fate..that cancer must have had a hell of a time, but it’s actually got her, shit. I’m so sorry, I’ve cried many times for Trisha over the last few weeks, and lots of hugs and love to everyone in her family.

  29. Mark Irwin

    David and Trish, I am so sorry to read this, so impresses, humbled, by your individual and combined courage, strength, honesty and love. I wish you comfort, strength and peace in the days ahead. Mark

  30. cw

    As a stranger, my thoughts and love are with your family.
    Looking at end of life prayers, I like to share this one:

    I invite you to enter
    into Sacred Time and Space,
    into a way of seeing broad and spacious.
    See this Day, from the time you arose this morning
    until you sleep this evening, as one Ceremony,
    divided into small and familiar rituals,

    your Heart as the Altar.
    You, part of the Cycles of Light and Darkness.
    Now begin to see your Life,
    from the moment of your Conception
    until the time of your Death
    as one long, continuous Ceremony,
    filled with many rituals,
    some familiar, some unknown and challenging.
    Your Home and all Your Relations, the Altar.
    You, part of many Seasons and Cycles.
    Now see this Ceremony of your Life
    as part of a much larger Ceremony that extends
    Seven Generations into the Past and Seven into the Future,
    made up of many Births and Deaths.
    This beautiful spinning Earth the Altar.
    You, part of the great Ebb and Flow.
    Now, if You will, imagine this larger Ceremony
    to be but one part of a Ceremony so grand,
    so magnificent as to be hardly comprehensible,
    a vast Ceremonial Circle, with
    Circles of Dancing Light,
    and You,

    a Dancer on the Altar that is the Universe,
    where Time is Eternal.

    Sedonia Cahill

    (… and maybe the dancer had a tutu….)

  31. Adrienne

    I came across this blog because a friend on Facebook commented on it and your honesty really moved me. Not many people are brave enough to document the true horrors of cancer. I appreciate your realness and I feel if more people were brave enough to document such things then cancer awareness and funding would skyrocket.
    I am so sorry your family has to go through this and my heart aches for your two girls. I have never lost a parent but the thought of it is heart wrenching. All the best to your family.

  32. Amy and Stella~

    Trish…You have been on my mind for many years. To find you now is so bittersweet. I want you to know how much YOU have affected me. Hearing this story and feeling your courage is mind boggling. Last night as I fell asleep–I thought about all that has happened to us since we’ve talked seen each other; I had NO idea. But, I am so moved by your strong presence, personality and ability to deal with this. I am constantly thinking of you and LOVE you very much. I truly wish I was closer. Amy and Stella Fleiss (6)

  33. Aaron - aka Akalukz

    Trish and David, I was saddened to hear about the way the battle has shifted. Trish will always be Tink, and she will always be Pink. David, your writing is so very powerful and it truly shows how Brave Trish is and how deeply you love her. Simply an amazing story.

  34. Linda P.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Trish and the whole family. I was in grad school with her but had little interaction. However, I know what it’s like to see a spouse suffer from cancer and deal with the anguish and pain as the cancer ravages a loved one. My husband died of pancreatic cancer two years ago and the memories are still fresh. Even though you think there is little you can do except administer the pain relievers and keep her comfortable, just that is a really big thing. If it makes any sense at all, knowing that those two last months of my husband’s life were the most intimate, most loving times we spent together is something I am extremely grateful for and those memories are forever etched in my soul. It may seem like small comfort now, but hopefully you and Trish will be able to find some good in all this misery and sadness right now. I pray for you to find the strength to continue helping her and the rest of the family and that she finds the strength to deal with all that this horrible disease inflicts on her. If there is anything I can do to help – even just talk and lend an ear – please contact me.

  35. Michele

    This is terrible and beautiful. I can’t even remember the last time I cried for anything or anyone, and yet I’m crying now for the agony felt by strangers. I don’t know either one of you except for seeing the posts made by friends of friends on FB, but I wish I did know you, because you sound like kick-ass people. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing me to selfishly count my blessings.

  36. Frederic Moulin

    As I read your heartbreaking blog it reminds me of why I work in drug discovery: just so that one day people like you will not have to write blogs like this. Unfortunately it is not an easy task,
    Good luck, my heart is with you and your family.
    Fred (from Warhammer Agony)

  37. Lori

    I hardly know what to say, so I’ll just say Fuck You, Cancer. I hope Trish can rest easier with the drugs. Ugh.

  38. Doug Robson

    Always admired Trish’s fierce spirit at J-school and in her life. I’m deeply saddened to read this and sending all my best to Trish and her family.

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