When you haven't slept in days, it no longer matters if you are asleep or awake, everything looks the same.
If you have not read 'The Art of Racing in Rain' Garth Stein, do not! I pretty much just lived it.
Our Kimmy, our shining angel, left us last night. She went so peacefully, with a whisper, so Kim like.
How did it happen so fast? We were blessed with wonderful 5 days with Kim - she seemed like she was going in the right direction. She had a great appetite, enjoyed helping around the house and with the kids, visiting with friends...she was getting some decent rest, too.
It was that nagging cough...I gave her her nightly Lovenox injections and she told me I was her knight in shining armour, saving her life...then she fell asleep for about an hour. The cough woke her up and she stayed up until about 2, falling into a troubled sleep. I could her some rattling in her lungs and asked if she was bringing up any blood and she said no. Around 3, we moved her out to her Lazy Boy and she said her stomach was a mess, so I made her some raison toast and brought her ginger ale. By 4, it was clear I had to get her back to St. Joseph's, and I called 911.
The ambulance had her to St. Joseph's by 5 and she needed 15 liters of air to breath. They got her looking great, as our neighbor, Amy, can attest to. She snuck into ER to bring me coffee and a protein shake from our friend Lupe, by telling them she was my sister and Kim was so happy to see her. Her color and breathing were doing better. T
They took chest x-rays and sent Kim to have a CT scan. The CT scan required Kim to lay flat, which distressed her poor body terribly and she started to sink. Her breathing becoming more and more labored. The CT scan showed horrible developments, so Dr. McCarten consulted with Kim and I on two options.
#1 - tape a high powered oxygen mask to Kim's face, which he compared to hurricane force like wind being forced into her. If the liquids that showed up in her lungs on the CT scan were mucous related, this would help...if it was blood, it would kill her quickly.
#2 - put Kim on a ventilator, perform a bronchial scope and see what was causing the bleeding and go from there.
We decided, together, that #2 was the only way to go. They put Kim under after we had some time to give each other loving words and embraces. We told each other how very much we loved one another and then I had to go. I went out to St. Joseph's garden while the Dr. performed the procedure. The hosptial chaplain, Wendy, came out to get me and told me the blood was in both lungs and that they would need to be cauterized. Dr. Zaetta was set up to do that.
Monsignor Tom stopped by to pray with Kim. She was out, but we were told she could hear us. I let her know that she was the best friend, the best wife and the best mom, ever.
As the time rolled closer to her procedure, Dr. McCarten advised me that this was simply a 'bandaid', many other things were starting to happen as Kim's cancer was spreading like wildfire. Now in her pancreas, thyroid, lungs, liver and bones. How did it happen this quickly?? She was producing lactic acid at a tremendous rate and an infectious disease Dr. was consulted. He placed Kim on 3 anti-biotics to see if that would help. But her blood pressure was dropping - her liver was failing!
Father Harry came in and annointed Kimmy. He prayed with us. By this time, the bambini's were brought it. Wendy, the chaplain, had arranged for a private meeting room for us. I let them know their mama's situation. We have never hid anything from these guys, or candy coated anything, but, of course, they were upset. Poor little Antonio got sick in the trash can. I let them know what they would see, that their mama was hooked to a breathing machine. She had iv's in both arms, out of her chest and her neck. They handled it incredibly well. We visited with Kim while they told her how much they loved her. Then, Father Harry hugged each bambino and prayed with all of us.
We had a lot of support at St. Joseph's...Betsey and Brian (who's birthday it was), Amy and her son Alex, Andrea, Mario and their son, David, Angie and Janene, took turns consoling us and keeping us strong.
I went back to Kim's side, alone and waiting for the good Lord to take her.
She was such a good person. To call her my soul mate would be a disservice - she was so much more than that. We will keep her alive in our lives, as she would want. I told the bambini's that mama would not want us to complain, but to appreciate all we have. I had been praying for Kim's recovery...I had been praying for a miracle - what I realize now, is, that Kim was the miracle! I was blessed to know her for 33 years. We were together 27 years and married (here at the San Xavier Mission) for 17 years. I just feel so bad for our sweet bambini's - with no mother to guide them - I promised them that I will do my best to be both mom and dad for them.
As we left St. Joseph's for the last time, we took the stairs together...we walked past St. Joe's statue and I told the kids, 'Mom said that this was her journey...now it is our journey'.
I believe Kimmy is in heaven now, probably walking on the beach there...reunited with her Dad and relatives and our pups, Cajun and Zona.
And she is in no pain, she is at peace and with the Lord...
I'm going to try to work on funeral arrangements and will post them when I figure this out. Please do not send flowers -we are inudated (and we have penty of food!) - if you want to send something, I am thinking of starting a foundation, to help families like ours, through a time like this, so if you feel like you need to do something, do that, please no flowers. I'd also love to put a 'thank you' billboard - if anyone knows how to do this or has connections, let me know.
Thank you all for all the tremendous love, caring, support and, of course your prayers!!