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Reaching The Next Level

Over the past 7 years, a lot of my wife’s and my time have been spent taking care her grandfather, Jack Underhill. His health had started to deteriorate, and he had to be tied to an oxygen machine, 24 x 7. He moved in with us, so that we could take care of him. The last seven years have been full of ups and downs, and there is no way that I can capture the complete picture in a single post. I’m not even going to try.

Late last week, Jack went to a scheduled doctor’s visit, and from there, the doctor had sent him directly to the hospital. He went over to have some tests done. The tests that needed to be done required equipment that wasn’t available at the medical center, where his doctor’s office is located.

The test results came back and they had diagnosed him with cancer in his liver and kidneys. They said that the cancer was already pretty wide-spread, and any amount of treatment wouldn’t have helped. They performed a biopsy on Monday, to determine the next steps to take. Why this wasn’t caught earlier, I don’t know. He had been to both the doctor’s office and the hospital withing the past six months, several times.

By Tuesday, he was released from the hospital, and I brought him home. They had given him a “patch” with some pain medicine, and also some pills, in case the patch wasn’t working well enough. Being in the habit of sleeping quite a bit, he was pretty tired when we made it to the house at 2:00pm. He got up on Tuesday morning at 7:00am and hadn’t slept since.

When we got in, he slept for a couple hours in his bed, before having to get up to use the bathroom. When he was done in there, he came out and sat at the kitchen table, another one of his “places”. He slept for quite a while there, in his chair, which wasn’t too out of the ordinary. Over the next 24 hours, though, things became much worse.

32 hours after I brought Jack home from the hospital, he passed away, in his bed. At 8:55pm, he reached the next level in the cycle of life.

This is the first time that this has ever happened so “close to home” for me, and I’m not real sure how to handle it. I’m sure I’ll be adding some of Jack’s memories to Webfeed Decentralized.

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One response to “Reaching The Next Level

  1. Shane Ede October 20, 2005 at 5:48 pm

    Tom,

    I am so sorry to hear that. It’s never easy to have someone near to us move on. My thoughts are with you and your family as you deal with the loss.

    Shane

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