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Just Do It and You Get Through It - My Personal Story
By Lois A. Troutman

(Page 2 of 3)

Other setbacks included blood clots in his legs, long use of Prednisone eventually made his legs useless and he eventually had to use a walker. In time, he lost the use of his legs. His blood counts often were too low to endure the treatments. He, also, had to have blood transfusions to boost his immune system. His blood P-time constantly had to be checked for the clotting factor.

It became necessary to have a medi-port implanted into his chest so it would be easier for the nurses to take his blood for testing and to infuse the intravenous therapies.

Caring for him became a full-time job for me and I put my life on hold to do it. Yes, the word “caregiver” had now entered my job description. There were days I struggled just to hold on to my own sanity, let alone trying to be the anchor for Ken that I needed to be. I kept reminding myself of my motto, though, and kept running the race. My faith in God certainly helped me to go through all of the rough times that I had to face. I acquired strength through the prayers of others, and support of family and friends helped tremendously, too.

Try as I might, I sunk into another period of depression after I had a hysterectomy in January of 2000. I battled back from that with sheer will and determination. I knew Ken was depending on me for the care that he needed and I still managed to do it even though this was a very difficult time for him and for me.

As the year 2001 began, Ken was having much more pain than usual and he had bladder surgery. Through the surgery it was determined that the cancer had spread to the bladder. This surgery did not go well and many complications ensued, including the need to have nephrostomy tubes put into his back for the purpose of voiding his urine. He eventually, also had to be catheterized.

Some physical therapy to strengthen his legs was attempted, but that proved futile. Ken spent the better part of two months in the hospital and on May 8, 2001, we brought him home with hospice care for what would be the last two weeks of his life. This period of time was so difficult, but I had been witnessing a slow death over a period of about three years, and seeing what I had to see and participate in as far as his care was concerned was almost more than I could bear. But, again I remembered my motto and continued the race.

The hospice team assigned to us for those two weeks was like a team of angels sent by God to me. Their help proved to be invaluable and I could not have coped without them. My resolve at this time started to weaken and I had to give up and put all of this in God’s hands and accept the help that I needed because we now had to allow Ken to give his life over to God.

On May 22, 2001, the hospice nurse had instructed me to give him a “morphine cocktail” every hour that day. I had to give it with an eye-dropper because he had lost his ability to swallow and to take pills. All during this day his bodily functions were ceasing and the “death rattle” had begun. The time of his death was now imminent. Family and friends kept a vigil at his bedside.

On May 23, 2001, at 4:15 am, my husband lost his valiant struggle from this most devastating illness. I actually got down by my bed and thanked God for ending his suffering. Yes, the ordeal that left me physically and emotionally drained was now over.

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