This last battle started for him just before labor day when he went to the ER with chest pains and lack of breath. He had a Plueral Effusion (fluid around his lung), which they drained over 1 1/2 liters of fluid from only to reveal a mass. A few days later they took a biopsy of the mass. A few days later he was released from the hospital but not before seeing the lab diagnosis of the mass as "malignant mesothelioma, sarcomatoid type". He went home with this information but without being able to talk to an Oncologist. He had to wait 12 days before seeing his oncologist but in the meantime we had all done some research on Mesothelioma and knew there was not going to be a happy ending but that there may be treatment options including surgery, radiation and chemo. When he finally got into the Oncologist, they were not certain it was Mesothelioma but rather it could be his bladder cancer had metasticized. Which if this were the case, there was no hope. They were going to have Mayo take a look at his labs/scans to help confirm the diagnosis. In the mean time, they had set up an appointment at University of Michigan who were more specialized in Mesothelioma. That appt was 2 weeks ago Wednesday. Clarity came with this appt. They were certain of the diagnosis of Mesothelioma, the rarest, most agressive, most untreatable form... It was too large for surgery or radiation and he wasn't strong enough for chemo. He was sent home, with the number for hospice care.
At this point in time he was already weak from his prior hospital stay, but he was finally able to put his mind to rest with the diagnosis and prognosis. He was at peace with knowing his future and was content with his past. We didn't know how long he would have but it became clearer every day that it would not be a year.. then it would not be months.. then it would not be weeks and then not even days. I came home last Tuesday just in time for him to have 2 last days of relatively understandable communication. He was able to talk to all of us girls and be able to say what he wanted to before he went. The last few days since we have seen him slip away more and more...although did I mention he was stubborn? He is... and his mind will just not let him go. He still shows us an eye roll or a raised brow when we talk to him. But it is never easy to watch someone so strong be in pain and not be able to do a whole lot to help. We have all said our goodbyes and now are just waiting for him to say his.
This is about all I can write for now.