The end of the story

Jenn’s husband, Dave, here. She wanted me to update her readers on what had happened when she was no longer with us, which sadly, has now happened.

Last Thursday the hospice nurse came to our house and decided that Jenn should be admitted to the hospice facility. Within a couple hours she was leaving the home that she loved so much in an ambulance. At the time we thought there was a possibility that it would just be a temporary stay. By Friday afternoon, though, the nurse told me that I should call our daughter, who was on a school trip at Disney World, that she should come home as soon as possible if she wanted to be able to speak to her again. Over the next day she went from bad to worse, slowly losing what little she had left. It became harder and harder to talk to her. My last real conversation with her was on Saturday afternoon. It was what had become by then a rare moment of lucidity.

As the nurses continued to attend to her the extent of her disease became clear. She had tumors in her colon that caused a variety of problems which I will leave to your imagination. The ascites fluid which I had been helping her drain since November and had been yellow, started showing blood. She had to lie with her legs up because of pain, and when she no longer had the strength to keep them up they fell to her sides so that she lay bow-legged. The nurses believe this was because of tumors in her groin. In short, the tumors had completely taken over her lower digestive tract. I’m telling you this because she was very candid with you about what she was going through and she believed that if she could raise awareness of how horrid metastatic breast cancer is then perhaps her sacrifice would have meant something.

Throughout this ordeal my only concern was executing her wishes: to be in as little pain as possible and to sleep through the worst parts. The nurses assured me that her pain was at manageable levels throughout. On the last day I was told she had been administered over 100 mg of morphine total. I spent each of the five nights she was there with her and generally made myself a pest to the staff.

Yesterday afternoon I was holding her hand and talking to her while I looked her in the eye. I think she heard me – her movements and groans hint that she did. My daughter was there, and so was one of her close friends. I told her that F and I were going to go to dinner and be back shortly. As we were finishing dinner, not one hour later, her friend texted me that I need to come back right now. The hospice nurse called me while my daughter and I were walking to our car to tell us she had passed. The nurse, her friend, and my daughter believe that she did it deliberately while I was gone either to spare me seeing it, or because she felt I wouldn’t let her go.

I know you all must feel something like the pain my family and I feel now. She had a way of touching people she hadn’t even met. She’s left us an extraordinary gift by recording her life in this blog. For however long I have left, whenever I feel like I’m missing her, I’ll have this to read and remind me of who she was.

My health continues to deteriorate.

We’re at the point now where my pain, nausea and various side effects couldn’t be managed at home anymore, so I’ve been transferred to the hospice house. Its been a mixed bag so far, but I do like being able to get my meds via my port. Well the important ones anyway. Hopefully things will improve as we figure out the new schedule. What I’m really, really hoping for is a good, solid might of rest. I have never been this exhausted.

I had some pics to upload but the wifi here sucks balls.

Freya ♥️

Freya leaves for a school trip tomorrow afternoon, and will be gone until next Tuesday. We’re all concerned I’m going to die before she gets back. She came down to my bedroom and I held her while we talked, cried, and discussed our feelings. I’m going to keep our words private, but the unconditional love between us is so pure and beautiful. It takes my breath away. There’s more I want to say, but I’m too overwhelmed right now.

I didn’t use the “step mom” tag on this post because it’s not able to convey the depths of my love and devotion for her. She’s always felt like my own, and I’m thankful that her mother has always been willing to accept, and even nurture, our relationship. I know that’s not easy

My heart is shattered.

Despite all my rage, I’m still just a rat in a cage.

Today got fucking weird and intense. My mom slept until like 3 because she apparently ate a fuckton of edibles the night before. She desperately wants to stay indefinitely, but I told her we cannot deal with that stress right now. So now maybe she’s renting a room? Idk. All I know is I feel guilty and that when I shouldn’t have to worry about any of it.

My body continues to deteriorate. It’s scary. I see the nurse tomorrow. I’m trying to decide if I want to transfer my care to the hospice house so that I can just relax.

Oh my friends brought me by a sweet new (to me) eagle cane they found at a flea market. I’m calling him Clyde.

My Mom & Sister

We had a five hour visit this afternoon/evening. It totally drained me, but it was definitely worth it. The vibe was much different than I anticipated. The conversation flowed. My mom brought a box of old pics that we reminisced over. We helped each other remember various things. We confessed things, and discussed others that were long overdue. There were def tears, but it felt good to be in their presence, just like how I always wanted it to be: honest and loving. We laughed even more than we cried.

Krystal was a mess as she was leaving, and she’s hopeful there will be time to see each other again, but is prepared for there not to be. I’m at peace with what I was able to say in parting, and I hope she takes it to heart. Despite us never having that traditional sisterly bond, I love her very, very much.

My mom is still here, since she’s staying the night, so I imagine things will get a bit more intense between us in the morning. I’ve called it a night though because I’m exhausted and I definitely need some rest.

I told them that they’re all that’s left of this family (considering Samantha is lost to heroin), and they need to try to put the bullshit behind them and start fresh. I hope my death can bring them closer at the very least. Tonight made it obvious that there is still lots of love here, and that doesn’t just go away.

I love you both. The good and the ugly. The ugly made us who we are, and there’s no time to live in regret. Never forget.

Living The Cane Life & Other Observations

My only regret is I wish it were pink. Lol. I may tie a scarf around it just to spice things up. Though then the cats may mistake it for a toy.

Going to the hospital this morning was extremely draining. And the doctor was an arrogant fuck face. He tried to tell me all the reasons it wasn’t actually clogged and was clearly user error, up until all of those excuses kind of blew up in his face. Anyway – the short version is that he drained almost 2 liters, and it should be working again.

At some point in the wee morning hours, I realized that I’m very proud of what a fucking warrior I have been; how I’ve fought as hard as I could and gave it everything I’ve got. I can die at peace knowing there was nothing more I could reasonably do. That lifted a big weight from me emotionally. I feel like I can start to let go. It’s time to stop worrying about everyone else and start worrying about myself.

Wednesday at 9:50 pm

  • Ironically, I cannot get that “Hold On” song by Wilson Phillips out of my head. The universe has jokes.
  • Sorry in advance for any typos. It’s getting more difficult to clearly express myself.
  • I’m really hoping for another two weeks, but I’m scared. It’s getting harder to be present.
  • I’m so fucking tired.
  • I wanted to say some goodbyes in person, but they may have to be written instead. And some things I wanted to write may have to go unwritten.
  • My ascites drain in my peritoneum is clogged, so I’m off to Big Barnes tomorrow to try to get that sorted. It’s getting uncomfortable.
  • Also – I’m getting really weak, and actually fell this morning, so I think it’s cane time.
  • My food and fluid intake was better today, and my pain was better managed. I’m hopeful that’s a good sign. Just give me my spring break with my kids. Please, please, please.
  • I think, however, that I’m finally at peace with the idea that my people know how much I love them. And I definitely feel so very loved. I’ve done what I set out to do. Anything more is just extra.
  • Thank you for loving me so much and for being so vocal about it. Years ago, in my freshman year of college, I tried to slit my wrists because I felt so alone and unloved. I know now that it was a cry for help, and I’m thankful for my friends who cared enough to step up and answer the call.
  • I’ll write here as long as I’m able, but know that I love you.
  • What a beautiful life it has been. ♥️

Wednesday 5:45 am

I’m so unbelievably thankful for my husband. I don’t know how I would do this without him. He is alway by my side, never complaining, ready to do whatever I need. Caregivers have a horribly difficult job, and they deserve so much more than they get.

Y’all see the good side. The put together version of Jenn that I allow the world to see. You don’t see the crying, the short temper, the gagging and the puking and the shitting. You don’t hear the moaning. You don’t have to wake up with me in the middle of the night to medicate me because I’m confused and I’m pain. You don’t have to sleep next to the lady who only showers about once per week, and who never wants to have sex because sex causes way too much pain.

David, my sweet babe, thank you so much for everything. For all the times – good and bad. For all the laughs and all the heartbreak. We took what should have been a stupid little fling and turned it into a beautiful life: a family, a home, a community. Thank you for ten of the absolute best years of my life. I hope you will always remember me how I was on my 35th birthday on the beach – or on my 40th stumbling down Duval Street. Remember our kiss on Taylor Ave and the quiet yet passionate romance that followed in our wake, whatever we did. Remember Alabama with the kids, and the bears at the Smokey Mountains. Remember the ridiculous steamy night in Savannah while we hunted for ghosts. So many parties – include our fucking raver in 2015, which is still considered by many to be a fucking legend. That’s the Jenn I want you to remember. The Jenn that Rob had to carry out of the mosh pit after she threw a drink in that dude’s face. Remember her beauty, grace, intelligence, and how formidable she’d get after a couple drinks. Always down to lawyer/argue. Always down to fuck. And always so madly head over heels in love with you.