One thing is for sure. This experience stays with you, it becomes a part of who you are and it impacts the person you will now grow into. The past few days have literally been a whirlwind. Since bringing Andrew home from the hospital my days have been consumed with hospice, funeral arrangements and a whole bunch of conversations I hoped I’d never have to have. Before I go any further let me rewind a little.
Friday morning we were preparing to take Andrew home after we’d been told by our doctor that we would have to come back next week to M.D. Anderson to talk about getting Andrew on a trial. Instead of preparing for discharge I woke up to Andrew screaming in pain. Nothing the nurses gave him could ease his pain, his heart rate rose to the 170s and he was having difficulty breathing. Several doctors charged in the room to help. At one point the doctor asked Andrew if he wanted to be brought back to life if necessary and he said no. Another doctor pulled me outside to ask if I was prepared for Andrew to possibly die in the hospital. “Of course I’m not,” I thought to myself. From that point on, the tears just didn’t stop. Mostly, I was sad because I didn’t think it would all happen this quickly. The day before he seemed to be doing better.
Later, our oncologist came to the room to finally tell us that Andrew wouldn’t qualify for any trial at M.D. Anderson. He said he didn’t see Andrew living past a month. That night Andrew got moved to the palliative care unit. Right before I went to bed I heard the worst scream/cry I’d ever heard and some lady yelling “ Not my baby.” At that point I realized exactly where we were at and the gravity of the situation. Needless to say I stayed up that entire night. The next day my parents, Andrew’s parents and sister all came to the hospital to spend some quality time with Andrew. The next day we packed Andrew in the car and brought him back home to spend the rest of his days.
The night we got back Andrew was doing pretty good. My best friend drove down to Cuero and brought my aunt and my sweet Ellie Grace whom I hadn’t seen in 10 days. Even though it was 11 at night I took her to see her daddy and she just lay on his stomach for forever. The tears just welled up in Andrew’s eyes. It was a sweet moment (the picture that you see above is the moment they shared). The past two days Andrew has been pretty loopy and tired, however we do have moments where we know he knows we are there because he tells us he loves us.
I’ve been sleeping in the same room as him the past couple of nights and I just can’t help but cry myself to sleep. The hardest part for me is watching his health deteriorate. I see this beautiful soul so full of life and love and watching him suffer and be completely helpless just kills my soul. I’ve been blown away by the generosity of everyone so willing to help our family. Regency Nursing and Rehab (where Andrew used to work) has been sending nurses out to help take care of Andrew all throughout the day, sending us lunch and dinners and just making sure we are all taken care of. That kind of love just blows me away. Word’s can’t even come close to the gratitude that fills my heart.
My hope and prayer from this situation is that beautiful things will continue to come out of this tragic experience. I want to continue to focus on all the blessings that have come and continue to come from our story. I desire to become more compassionate and more loving through this experience so that I can connect with more people in hopes of helping to inspire them through our journey and through Andrew’s incredible faith. Love and Blessings.