About 10 days ago
This picture was taken about 10 days ago
Tracey is moving along her journey and some of it is extremely painful to watch. We are hoping she will make Christmas as she loves it so much. If I could do it for her I would, I think many parents would for their children.
I’m stressed to the max and many things make me cry. I was driving home from a visit recently when a song we sing at the choir I go to came on the radio, I started singing along, when Bam, one of the lyrics hit home and I was rapidly blinking back tears. Can’t cry when you’re driving!
I am not going to many of the social things I do right now. Partly because I no longer have time as I’m spending so much time at my daughters. But also because I am introverted. This doesn’t mean I am shy or lacking in confidence. It means that social occasions use up emotional and physical energy, with quiet time providing the necessary recharge – the complete opposite of you lively extroverts out there. I simply don’t have any energy of either sort to spare at the moment.
Saturday week, Tracey was taken into the local hospice, St Wilfred’s. After a slow start, they have got her pain firmly under control and I haven’t seen her this comfortable for several weeks. She is still nauseous much of the time, but that too is getting more under control.
I spend all day, every day, at the hospice with her now and am doing little else. These last few months with her have been both lovely and horrible. We have sung Abba songs, watched our favourite films (Blue Brothers, hers, and It’s A Wonderful Life, mine) and seen some beautiful ballet together, with me perched on the end of her bed. We’ve sat in the sun under her gazebo, been blown along the front in the rain (she loves the wind and rain) and we’ve breakfasted at The Beach Deck. I treasure the very special conversations we’ve shared too.
Tracey had a good day today. She is very tired, but was bright and smiley. It’s just family visiting now, as too many visitors tire her out very quickly.
A beautiful jet black lurcher called Jessie visited from the next door room this morning. There are gardens all round the hospice, and Jessie was sniffing round the enclosed courtyard that Tracey’s room opens on to. Tracey is always hot and the door is often open, or the air conditioning is on, set to 16 degrees, while I sit with a thick fleece on, with the collar turned up and the zip done right up to my chin! In this picture, as you can see, I’ve got my coat on! Anyway, Jessie wandered in for a look around and enjoyed several little bits of biscuit. Her owner soon found her and sat with us for a chat for several minutes which was nice. I’m under instructions to bring small cubes of cheese for her for a visit tomorrow!
All oral meds have been stopped now with some transferred to the syringe driver. Tracey managed quite a few drinks through the day, a few sips each time. They stayed down too. She is comfortable and enjoying all the attention lavished on her by the wonderful staff, and her family visitors!
There is a choir concert at 6-8pm at the hospice this evening and she will be pushed in her bed along the cafe area to enjoy it. She won’t be able to sing along as she can only whisper now. There is always something going on at the hospice. They have a reasonable sized car park, but it’s often a squeeze to get in. Many people come for coffee and cake at the cafe, and the delicious lunches too, so there are always lots of cars parked, everywhere!
The picture is of her brother-in-law who came dressed as a penguin today! He’s threatening to come dressed in something different every day, yesterday was a lurid Christmas suit, a la Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen! There is every variety of Christmas jumper being worn by staff and visitors. Most rooms have some kind of Christmas decoration, and the gardener has made some really beautiful decorations displayed around the place. The ‘flower lady’ came in the room today with a small flower arrangement for Tracey, They truly do do everything they can to make the end of a life as joyful as it can be.
Tracey is still hoping to make Christmas Day, and she just might make it!