Archive for death

Cutting Down the Family Tree

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , on March 21, 2012 by brianestover

I went to sleep last night knowing that my Nana wouldn’t be alive when I woke up this morning. She passed away about 7:30am. It wasn’t unexpected. She had fractured her leg about 5 weeks ago when she was moved to a new nursing home. Her diabetes was not as well controlled at the new home either. The reality is I lost her several years ago. Dementia ravished her brain. I bet an autopsy would find significant amyloid plaque build up in her brain. She’s been battling that beast for at least 6 years now. In many respects, death is a better solution then staying alive.

Nana and I

In the last 13 months, I’ve lost my entire genetic giving tree on the Jastrzemski side of my family. First my Granddad last February. Then Mom on my birthday in July, and now one day short of 8 months later, my Nana.

But in the big picture, I’ve been rather lucky. Not many 39 year olds can say that they still had 3 out of 4 grandparents alive. I got a lot of time with my grandparents, and at 40, while I’m down two, I’m still getting time with one of them. Most of the people I know my age, haven’t had that blessing. The majority of people had at most, two grandparents alive when they were 30.

Goodbye Nana. Say hello to Granddad and Mom for me please.

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.

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 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.

From Bad to Worst

Posted in Stuff with tags , , on February 4, 2011 by brianestover

Moving sucks, which I’m doing right now. But what makes it even worse is my Granddad is about to die, 2-3 days max left. I had my final phone conversation with him this morning. It was rough, for both of us. He could barely talk, he sounded so weak, weaker then I’ve ever heard another human sound, he sounded defeated and that he knew death is hours away. That was the toughest phone conversation I’ve ever had. But in the end, death will claim us all. I tried to convey what he meant to me, I told him I loved him and thanked him for always being there, teaching me how to read, mediating between my Mom and I when we didn’t get along very well, offering to let me live with them if needed, thanked him for living for so much longer then his docs thought and for being such a big part of my life. He has even outlived some of his doctors. The ravages of time take us all. After four or five different types of cancer, CABG x5, CABG x4, multiple heart attacks I never thought I’d see 30 and still have him around, much less approaching 40. He has been given last rights more times then I can remember. He always manages to pull through. But time will be the exception.

For 15 years I knew this day would come, knew I’d never see him again or speak to him, knew he would never be there one more time. It’s no easier, even though I’ve collapsed on the floor in shambles of his impending death more then once after the final phone call or visit. This time, it’s for real. And it sucks.

I love you Granddad I wish I could hug you one more time.