Sometime last year, Hefina, a spiritual advisor and our friend, gave both Steve and me foot washings. She encouraged Steve to embrace the tumor and let it go.
Today he said, "I'm tired of embracing the tumor. I want it to go."
Steve's chest rattled some throughout the night last night. After his morning/early afternoon nap he was very congested in his lungs and throat.
He had a breathing treatment, cough medicine and atropine drops (which help decrease secretions). He was more uncomfortable than usual and frightened to eat or drink because everything was causing him to cough more.
I asked the hospice triage nurse to send an on-call nurse out, just to listen and reassure us. The on-call nurse examined him and suggested that we add morphine drops to the drug regimen (morphine can also help decrease secretions) and increase the use of atropine for 24 hours. (Ideally he would just cough up the junk in his lungs, but his body is too weak.)
He improved within a couple of hours. He is still congested, but his condition is much better.
His spirits have been lifted, too, by sweet and funny cards, drawings and notes. Plus he's had many hugs and kisses on the top of his fuzzy head. Gretchen is in town for a couple of days -- that visit alone made his week. On top of that, in just the past couple of days he's seen Jim and Betty; Gretchen C.; the Woodbury family; the Spears family; Lori and Leti; Allison; Zena; Liz; and the Chitnis family.
He knows that he is surrounded by love, whether in the room or sent from states far away.