$$$ FINAL UPDATE - 4-5-10 11:30pm $$$
This is an entry by Don, Charles' father.
Dear Family and Friends:
First, we appreciate all the comments that have been posted to Charles' blog. Every one of them are read to him and he enjoys them.
This has been quite an emotional day for all of us.
We met today, Charles' family and Karlin, and visited about Charles' continuing care. The OHSU Oncology Social Worker had given us information about a hospice not far away. After our discussion we decided to go and visit that hospice: Hopewell House Hospice. We were all impressed and felt it would be a wonderful place for Charles. They can handle all his needs. It is in a wooded area and they encourage patients to go outside, wheeled in their bed, to be in the sun. It handles 11 patients. Charles is second on the list after another OHSU patient. We all felt good and agreed, and notified OHSU upon returning. The move is in the works.
After we returned Dr Spurgeon came by to visit. He wanted to talk about what Charles will need and won't need for care at the hospice. First, Charles had a question for him. Charles wanted to know how long he had. After a moment, the Drs answer was "weeks." Charles accepted the Drs response like the trooper he is. There were few dry eyes. Then, the Dr explained that many of the meds that Charles is getting won't be necessary at hospice. He will still receive pain medication, the same he has been using, that works well. They will discontinue TPN (liquid IV nutrition). The Dr explained that it is not doing much for him now. I might add at this juncture that a few days ago Dr Chen asked what Charles wishes were for life support if/when the situation came in his care. He advised that he didn't want it. In hospice he will be in a very pleasant surrounding and have all his needs met for comfort and peace.
Charles is in little pain even though his body continues to weaken. He has that wonderful little chuckle that I'm sure you have all heard a "million" times. His mind is sharp. His jaw and tongue don't work so well which makes it difficult to understand him when he talks. He has lost the use of his left arm and most of the use of his right arm. With all this his spirit is bright and NO COMPLAINTS!!! He has wanted Sprite and Root Beer. Because his gut is pretty well healed he can have some. Problem is he can't swallow well. So, he receives a few drops from a spoon. He enjoys that. Today Karlin's mom sent some chocolate. Charles wanted to know what it was. After explaining he said he wanted some. We asked the Dr and he said a small amount. So, his mom smashed the chocolate and melted a small piece on the end of a gloved finger and rubbed it on his tongue. He liked that.
Another difficult part of the day was that the word got out on the floor that Charles would be leaving soon for hospice care. Well, the nurses, CNAs and others just love him. Today, after shift, 1 nurse and 1 cna, that have cared for Charles many times during his 3 and a half month visit, came by. They didn't want to miss saying "Goodbye." Again, not a dry in the room. The nurses, CNAs and others are so WONDERFUL!!
Charles' brother, Matthew, brought him a comic book. It is a new one and will probably not have a sequel. Here is Daniel reading and showing The Governator to Charles. It's about a mythical governor of a mythical state. Hummm. Right up Charles alley for a good look, a good read and a good laugh. He liked it.
We go from day to day. Thank you for your love, support and prayers. dg