← Last weeks  |  Last days  |  Last hours →

Home hospice

February 1, 2007

We called in reinforcements to help with sponge bathing (Sadie was barely leaving her bed by now) and round-the-clock medication: three mornings and three nights a week.

An anniversary of sorts

February 6, 2007

Sadie made it a year past her first MRI. Bittersweet news, given her rapidly declining state.

Gathering speed

February 11, 2007

This was the last day Sadie would leave her bed. She had become increasingly dizzy and weak. She all but stopped eating and drinking. Her vomiting increased; we raised her dexamethasone to 12 mg (from 9).

Sadie developed a wet, raspy voice; strings of mucus hung between her mouth and toothbrush. She hurt everywhere, but nowhere she could point to. We started giving her acetaminophen by suppository to ease her achiness; she could no longer swallow the large pills.

February 17, 2007

Sadie’s agitation increased almost daily. In an attempt to improve her quality of life and possibly buy her some more time, we increased her dexamethasone to 18 mg. It didn’t help.

We started Sadie on fentanyl patches (morphine) for pain and oxazepam, a shorter-acting, milder cousin of diazepam (Valium), to help her sleep.

February 19, 2007

The oxazepam and fentanyl helped only briefly; we had to make a middle-of-the-night pharmacy run to pick up oxycodone (for pain) and temazepam (stronger than oxazepam). Sadie was restless and uncomfortable pretty much all the time, despite our best efforts to drug her sufficiently.

For the first time in five months, she turned away the volunteer who came to play games with her twice a week. She just wanted to sleep.

Though we didn’t realize the end was so close, Sadie had entered her last thirty-six hours.

Read on… →