Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's been a while since I posted. Actually the last time I wrote anything was a Friday Flip Off regarding cancer. Since then I have spent a week that felt more like a month in Venice Hospital watching my sisters boyfriend of 9 years die.

I had been going to the doctor appointments with them so I could take notes. Tuesday we were suppose to find out the results of the last PET Scan. We ended up calling 911 that day because he was burning up with fever and was more than we could handle. He wasn't making sense and was too big for us to get into the car by ourselves. They would later tell us he was septic, the infection had poisioned his blood.

While he was being taken to the hospital we called the doctors office to find out what the test results were going to be today. His cancer had spread. Chemo had not helped. He had a new tumor at the head of the pancreas. There wasn't much more they could do for him.

In the week we were in the hospital we had some very good doctors and nurses but we also had some real shockers. I wonder if they ever had compassion or if they were so burnt out that they had forgotten why they were there. I think since the first doctor visit a few months ago , that has been my biggest surprise - the lack of compassion. When the Doctor first told us it was stage 4 pancreatic cancer they sent us home without ever explaining what that meant or what to expect. I of course got online and read up on it, which is probably NEVER a good idea because it all sounds just horrible and worse case scenarios. My sister and her boyfriend kind of buried their heads in the sand and went the route of denial. When the family would talk about wills and getting prepared for when my sisters boyfriend would pass they got angry and didn't want to hear about it, they would deal with all of that later. When he would try and show my sister how to work the pool, or pay the bills she would put him off saying she would pay attention later. Later would never come.

It's now been three days since he passed. We have spoken with his lawyer, visited the cremation place, placed obituaries,notified all the family out of state and taken a breath. One thing about being in that hospital for a week is that it gave us all time to come to terms with the fact that he would not be coming home again. We were able to slowly prepare, and to say our goodbyes. I think if he would have died that first day it would have been much harder on the family and loved ones. I used to think that I wanted to go fast but after seeing the process the way I did I think it's kinder on the family to have a little more time.

Life is precious.

Something no one wants to think about but should is pre-planning. Luckily about five years ago my sisters boyfriend paid for and made all his cremation arrangements and saw a lawyer. He had his will in order, had put his accounts in a trust so there will be no problems with probate and all of that. I also learned that this year (2010) there are no inheritance taxes, so my sister won't have to worry about taxes on top of  everything else. If he had not set up his will and put his accounts in a trust it would have cost around $900 just to file probate.  I plan on getting this stuff done myself soon so my family does not have to go through any added expense or stress if I were to die. It was the ultimate thing he could have done to make this easier on my sister.


Donda said...

My heart goes out to you and your sister. This is something I hope I never have to do.

MandeeFoFandee said...

I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss.