Archive for cancer

Bittersweet Day

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , on July 22, 2011 by brianestover

It’s finally over, the race has been completed. Mom passed away about 6 this morning while Dad was pulling his shift at the hospital. Today happens to be my 40th birthday as well. Now this day will will have extra special meaning for me.

Mom thank you for everything though the years. Ill miss you.

3 for 2 Special

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by brianestover

It’s been a while since I’ve posted race results. There have been quite a few good results over the past few weeks. Maybe there is something to be said for planing ahead for your athletes season and letting them know what the plan is.

In the past couple of weekends Billy grabbed 3rd overall at the Steelhead Triathlon. Tom went a mere five minutes faster then last year at the Zuri Triathlon. We’ve worked on his bike position over the past two years, and as you can see from this pic, is rather slippery.

Tom bike and run finish

Dusty rocked the Strawberry Fields Triathlon this past weekend winning his age group and grabbing 10th overall in the men’s field.

James pulled the double race weekend just 5 days after a two week training camp in which he set new records for hours trained. On Saturday he raced the Stumpy Creek Triathlon with it’s 27 mile bike then turned around Sunday and raced the Amica 19.7 Sprint triathlon. Saturday’s race was a double points race for the Inside Out Sports NC Triathlon Series. He was as high as second place overall in the race and crossed the line in third overall. On Sunday he came back to the sprint race and won the race outright. By our calculations this will move him from second to first overall in the series standings!(Edit: He is 3rd in the series,so much for my math skills) This should also move him a step closer to getting his elite license for next year.

In closing, I’d like to say thank you to all the guys and girls I coach. You guys are an awesome bunch of people who have been very supportive during the last 3 weeks as I help my family out. All coaches should be so lucky to be able to pick such a good group of people to coach.

The Night Shift

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , on July 13, 2011 by brianestover

This is night number four in a row for me. The second night by myself. The first night by myself where Mom can die. I’ve had Jim or Georgia hanging out with me the last few nights.

I’m not going to lie, I’m scared. Scared that I’ll miss her going, scared that she might go without someone that loves her holding her hand and stroking her face. She needs to go though. Her NG tube was pulled over 5 days ago. She stopped breathing two nights ago for about 90 seconds. The two nurses working this side of the palliative care unit Jim and I all stood around. I asked for one of the nurses stethoscope. As she took it off her neck to hand to me Mom started breathing. Now it’s a regular pattern of breathing light then super compensating by breathing heavy followed by a short :10-:15 seconds where she doesn’t breathe at all. This has been going on for two days now. Jim, Georgia, Dad and I are all ragged from lack of consistent sleep. I’m glad my sister has the kids in and can’t pull long shifts here. But it’s going to be harder until Mom passes away because Jim and Georgia had to leave today.

The nursing staff in the palliative care unit have been great to the family, friends, co workers, people from church and from her life that have stopped by. There is a family lounge, I can walk around the entire unit barefooted, the rooms are equipped with a couch and a chair you can sleep on. There is a shower in each bathroom as well. They even let you drink beer up here. But now it’s all about Mom crossing the finish line.

The Losing Race

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , , , on June 26, 2011 by brianestover

The final race has begun. There is no winner in this race, the distance to the finish line is unknown only the outcome is certain. This race can only be lost. But it’s not a race that I’m racing. I’m along as a domestic, a helper, to my Mom. She seems to have some neurological and cognitive impairment, that appeared after surgery. It’s now 72 hours post surgery. If there is no improvement today, this is her new baseline. I’m not optimistic. She will be unsteady in gait, tremor in her left leg, physically weak and poor short term memory. I only have two jobs in this race. Escort her to death making the journey as easy as possible for her and help Dad as much as possible so the burden on him is a small as possible.

I think I have an idea of what I have to do. I suspect though this race involves a lot of on the fly learning, taking the turns and curves as they come then reacting. It’s going to suck watching her decline, fade and eventually lose. You might think being in a one person race gives you the inside track to winning, and if losing is winning then you are right.

This race is rather scary, tougher then anything I’ve ever done. No upside potential, only downside surety. A friend of mine once told me you can’t stop time, no matter how bad something is it has to end eventually. I know the finish line is near, the race won’t be that long ultimately. A year at the most. During that time there can be no cracking, no getting dropped no matter how fast, how brutal the pace may be. It’s just going to be enduring at the front making it easier for Mom to get to the finish line.

The Worst News…Ever

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , on June 24, 2011 by brianestover

My Mom has a brain tumor. A glioblastoma or GBM. Historical cure rate 0%. Historical 5 year survival rate for her type and severity is 0%. Historial 3 year survival rate is 1%. Historical 1 year survival rate doesn’t even get above 30%.

This is a fast growing, aggressive tumor. She spends the last 3 years devoted to taking care of my grandfather who had cancer and my grandmother who has Alzheimer’s. Now, just as she was moving forward from his death and wrapping up his estate, bam, she ends up with what is the worst brain tumor one can have. My grandfather died from cancer in mid February, which is about the same time Mom’s tumor started it’s life. Call it an inheritance.

A Punch to the Guts

Posted in Random Stuff, Stuff with tags , , , , , on January 26, 2010 by brianestover

This morning I’m walking around dazed and stunned. Bridgette went to the vet yesterday. Her tail stopped wagging like normal and her appetitive decreased. It seems every time I go to the vets the news isn’t good. Bridgette has cancer among other things like arthritis, anemia and some bad teeth.
There are lots of little tumors in her lungs, a nice size tumor at the base of her spine and one of her anal glands has a tumor. She has to be put her down soon. The tumor at her anal gland is already impacting her ability to go to the bathroom. Her poop comes out one side flat the other side round. Much more growth and she’ll be completely stopped up.
I’m stunned. I guess I shouldn’t be. She is ~14 years old and in great health otherwise. We still walk just about everyday, she plays with other dogs at the park and seems to be her usual self. As a pet owner, who has seen her everyday for the last 12+ years, sometimes you don’t notice the little things that might tip you off sooner. I never noticed she was getting indentions above her eyes until the vet pointed them out. She gets her head rubbed everyday. How did I miss that?
For now she is on antibiotics and prednisone. The prednisone should help perk her up a bit more and increase her appetitive. Since she still has a relatively good quality of life, I’m going to be selfish and keep her around for a few more weeks. Through all the years, I’ve always said I’m not going to be that dog owner that hangs on too long, that I’d rather put her down with a few good weeks left, then have her suffer for a few weeks because I didn’t want to let go. To me, being kind and letting your dog go out on top is the best thing a dog owner can do. I’ve already chosen a tentative date, and I’m not looking forward to it showing up. Hopefully she’ll respond well to her drugs and maybe I’ll get to keep her for a another week or so. I hope so anyway.