July 26, 2014 at 3:21 am #83763markssis2Participant
You are spending precious time with your sister that you will never forget. Even though it is hard, you will treasure this time when you look back on it because you gave your sister your all. Everything you said, did and felt was/is pure love and there is nothing more precious than that. You are a wonderful sister to your wonderful sister. You and your family are in my prayers.
SisJuly 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm #83762gavinModerator
I too am so very sorry indeed to hear about Nicole. I so know what you are going through at the moment having been where you are right now with my dad. I hope for peace for Nicole as well as for her to be comfortable throughout. I also wish you every strength for this period although I know that you are already strong. You know we are here for you and my thoughts are with you right now.
GavinJuly 25, 2014 at 3:54 pm #83761
Thank you Cathy, Lainey and Pam.
Pam, I’ve thought of your intense ordeal in the last days with Lauren often. It was very different from hospice in that everything under the sun was tried to keep her with us here in the earthly realm. Hope you are doing ok and at peace in your heart.July 25, 2014 at 3:22 pm #83760pamelaParticipant
I rarely visit this site anymore, but was drawn to it today. I am very sorry to hear about Nicole. May she find the peace she deserves and may you all find the strength to carry on with fond memories and love in your hearts for her. God bless.
-PamJuly 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm #83759lainyParticipant
Sara, please remember you do not have to wait for intervals of her waking up to say I love you as she will hear you, she can still hear. I am sure others will not agree with this but I think it is wonderful the way her son is involved even at his age as I believe he will accept the end so much better and will always know that he helped his Mom. To me that is beautiful. When T passed there was only Robin and Me as his kids were all out of town and had already come for their final visits. But I also did not want visitors at the end because he felt he would have to be at his best and that just could not be. It would be using energy he just did not have. I still believe Nicole is hanging in there perhaps for the Priest tonight. We are all with you in spirit so it is not an empty room it is jam packed! Sending my love!July 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm #83758jathy1125Participant
Willow, sending prayers for peace and comfort for your sister and your family during this time.
CathyJuly 25, 2014 at 11:27 am #83757
Thank you, Julie, Marion, Lainey, Darla and Catherine. It’s 3:44am and she is still with us….sleeping soundly though snoring …Cheney-stokes. Hospice nurse came late last night when I was out for a late dinner as my brother in law panicked a bit. My sis and I had given the methadone (long acting pain med) and morphine (short acting breakthrough med) too close together and she started shaking and breathing super fast/noisy. My two bro in laws and nephew were scared so called the hospice out. By the time the nurse came, Nicole was resting comfortably again so she just reassured us and said to give haldol every 4 hours or as needed (new med to replace lorazepam). Feel bad having given too much too close together. I feel like there are similarities to our Dads passing last year but he was in assisted living so I had a lot more help with the admin of meds, changing sheets/clothes etc. still took daily management but it was as if I had a team helping. Now we are a small team with a young kid watching and helping too with little things. He is so good about showing his affection to his Mom, though due to her frailty, mainly can only kiss her hand or head. He also gives frequent big cheerful hugs to all of us throughout the day and then goes about his business.
When the pain meds wear off, Nicole has a few brief moments of wakefulness but can’t speak. We jump on the opportunity to tell her we love her, wash her with the moist wipes, clean her mouth with the sponge sticks etc. She seems comforted but soon tired. We also read cards to her that people have sent.
It’s heavy on my heart that my sister and bro in law made it clear early on they don’t want a lot of visitors, tears or “drama” during this stage, so two of my sisters are essentially not “allowed” to come much at all. They are naturally sad. Our brother is back in NYC and can’t come again till the memorial. He flew out a couple of times this year for extended visits to spend time with the family and recently drove his motorcycle across the country, visited briefly but had to get back to work.
Well, I’d better try to sleep some more. Take care and thanks for your support.July 25, 2014 at 8:41 am #83756middlesister1Moderator
My thoughts and prayers are with your sister and the family. I am also fortunate to have sisters and my heart goes out to you.
CatherineJuly 25, 2014 at 3:45 am #83755darlaParticipant
It saddens me to read this. Your strength, love and support for Nicole can be felt in your words. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Love & Hugs,
DarlaJuly 25, 2014 at 3:16 am #83754lainyParticipant
My Dear Sara, My Friend, I am so sorry to read about Nicole but as usual feel she fought long and hard and deserves her Peace. You already know my feelings but know that I am right beside you in spirit. Nicole may just be waiting for the Priest. You are a wonderful Sister and I know from experience that sometimes siblings paths take different directions but the love is still there. I hope for a comfortable passage and strength for all those at the end of her Journey.July 25, 2014 at 3:12 am #83753marionsModerator
Sara….know that we stand beside you, all the way. A tidal wave of love is heading your way.
MarionJuly 25, 2014 at 3:10 am #83752iowagirlMember
Oh Willow, …dear Sara,…..my tears are falling right there with you. May God be with your sister….you, her husband and son as she goes through her final hours. I’ve been there with my dad when he died of large cell lymphoma and yet, I can’t give one word of advice here right now that seems to make any sense to me. It shouldn’t be happening and yet it is
I guess if I can remember back ….the one thing I did was keep talking to dad , even though the nurses said that the occasional heart beat spikes on the monitor were not really showing life at that point. I didn’t want to leave him until the last of the signs of life were gone. I didn’t want him to be alone even if he didn’t know I was there. I held his hand….stroked his forehead, told him I loved him and that it was okay to go on.
Bless you all…and may God hold in the the cup of his hand and lift you up when you need help.
Julie T.July 25, 2014 at 2:25 am #10350
Many of you know me as Willow. But my real name is Sara Denn. I live in Vacaville CA. I am
Just updating that I made it through 3 heartbreaking days when I had to be away again from my precious sister in order to work (3 hours away) . I Arrived last night to find my sister Nicole that much closer to heaven. She still has moments of lucidity but they are fewer now. Her husband has been amazing, patient and so loving with her. There is no outside help for hands on caregiving, though hospice is guiding us and adjusting meds. I Slept in my nephews bed beside her and staying here at her home for the duration. Her respiration a are only about 3-4 per minute so I keep thinking she has stopped breathing but then she takes another breath. Our Mom spent a few hours here today as well as my eldest sister while I took my nephew out for a break to Barnes and Noble.
Nicole is my first best friend as we are less than 2 years apart and were children #4 and #5 of 6 from a large Catholic family (5 girls and one boy). I just turned 50 and she would be 52 in mid August. As kids, We made up lots of skits and dances, shared sleepover parties, played Indians, explored, were Pom Pom girls in high school (cheer song girls) and have a special bond that seemed to fade in adulthood till she was diagnosed two years ago. Suddenly, our closeness and fierce bond came back in focus and I have not been able to let her fight this cancer alone. Very selective of who she “lets in”, she gave me the true honor of being the one to help her through every bit of her journey. She has shown me what real courage and grace are. She is a graphic designer and talented freelance fine artist as well. Very creative, quiet and private in contrast to me (scientific, outdoorsy, outgoing). We are so different yet our bond runs so deep.
I’m strong when I have to be (in front of others) but a mess when alone. Emotions all over the map. Please send thoughts and prayers for her peaceful passing soon. Also for strength and comfort for all of us left behind. Especially for her husband and young son (he is ten and aware of what is happening and is doing pretty well). Priest is coming tomorrow at 5pm but I will be surprised if she makes it that long. Meanwhile, she is sleeping deeply.
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