After one last hospital stay, Brian has come home. He managed to sneak in a radiation treatment on his shoulder, then was bundled into an ambulance to be driven here. Consults with Oncology and Palliative Care agreed that no aggressive anti-cancer treatment is likely to have an effect that would outweigh the side-effects; the cancer is too aggressive and has advanced too far. Therefore, the best treatment is one that’s aimed directly at symptom and pain management, so he will now be in the expert and caring hands of home hospice.
The breadth of the care is amazing, in fact. There are nurses on call 24/7, a social worker and spiritual care if desired, a home health aide, massage therapy, and even pet therapy if he requests it (I swear to you, she promised me a pony!).
What is truly amazing, though, is seeing Ian, Alex and Samantha caring for him. I watch them as they work together to lift and position him; lotion and massage him; cook for and feed him (seriously, Ian was frying morels last night); and stage slumber parties in the living room so that they can take the “night shift” together. It is hard work. It is sometimes terrible, heartbreaking work. And it is perfectly clear that I am witnessing something sacred and beautiful.
His bed is by the living room window, and we park the MKZ out front so he can see it. Michigan is putting on its best winter show for him: bright blue skies and fresh white snow. And we are doing everything we can to make these last weeks as comfortable and brightened by love and laughter as possible.