Thursday, April 21, 2016

Update on Lisa

She's had a pretty significant downward spiral in the past week. She really struggles to move around now and can't do stairs anymore, so we just keep her in our bedroom all day and take food to her when she gets hungry. Her hospice nurse says that the end is really near and she thinks that two weeks, at the most, is when she'll pass away.

She had a massive accident Tuesday afternoon in the bed while she was sleeping, even though we have to keep her in depends 24/7. I was at work and was told about this when I got home. My mom was there at the house taking care of her. One of my wife's neighbor friends stopped by just to say hi and as she entered the room the smell of poop about knocked her back. She went down to get my mom and the two of them proceeded to take her to the bathroom, take off her soiled clothes, bathe her, wash the sheets and her clothes, and shampooed the carpets. That's about the third time Lisa has had an accident that bad in the past few weeks. The two previous times it was in the middle of the night though, so no one else was around to be bothered with it and I did all the clean up by myself. I felt bad my mom and neighbor had to deal with that, and I am grateful for their help. It's not an easy task.

Yesterday when I got her up to take her to the bathroom she could barely make it from the bed to the bathroom. You can see that her body is shutting down now. The tumor is just so big that her brain can't handle it anymore. I sat her down on the toilet and took off her pants and depends. As I was taking them off she looked at me and had her first moment of clarity in over a week. She is normally in just one big fog, like a hard core heroine junkie that is just very unaware of any of their surroundings. She looked at me and said, "I'm worthless" and then got really sad. I tried to convince her that it was no big deal, that I loved her, and she was doing awesome, but she kept repeating that over and over again for about 30 seconds. Then she forgot all about it and was back to her "normal" unaware self. It was heart breaking to see her aware of her situation. Most of the time she's completely unaware of how bad things are. When people ask her how she's doing she always responds, "I'm doing great!" And says it with a smile. And she means it. In her mind, she's in great shape and isn't battling cancer.

She's starting to not recognize people, and that unfortunately includes the kids. They will go to give her a hug sometimes and she will push them away and say, "What are you doing? Don't touch me." That's been hard on the kids. She spends most of her day just sitting in the recliner in our room quietly looking out the window or staring at a wall. On Monday she had some family members come by to visit her and she wasn't very talkative with them and didn't really interact much. When I came home from work she smiled and said hi to me. The friend that had been sitting with her that day said that was the first time she saw Lisa smile all day. That made me so happy that not only does she still recognize me, but that she still loves me and that I can make her smile.

I am so ready for her to pass away and gain relief from all of this. Two weeks ago for fast Sunday, that was my prayer and the focus of my fast. That if it be the Lord's will, that she can pass away peacefully sooner rather than later. The only thing that makes a decision like that possible and bearable is our belief in the after life and the resurrection. I believe that she will be much better off and more productive on the other side of the vail than she is here. I hate to lose my sweetheart at such a young age and be without her, but the reality is that she has been "gone" the past 3 months. The woman you see right now is not Lisa. It is not my wife, and not the mother to our 4 kids that they knew. I just hope that these memories aren't what dominate their memories for years to come. I hope our kids remember how fun, kind, loving and outgoing she was. It's still so sad that she is going to pass away at the age of 34.

I've said this before, but I don't know how anyone could ever approach or tackle a challenge of this magnitude without an eternal perspective. I know it's unfair to compare my situation to the Savior's when he was in Gethsemane, but there have been multiple times that I have turned to God in a pleading prayer essentially asking him to take this cup from me. I feel so unqualified to handle it all. It's made me so painfully aware of my shortcomings and of how weak, impatient and feeble I am by myself. Thankfully I don't have to shoulder this burden by myself though. I can say definitively that I have felt the sustaining power of the Lord throughout this trial. While listening to conference talks a couple weeks ago, although I didn't get any specific questions answered, I felt my Heavenly Father's love for me as the Spirit warmed my soul. It was more than just a happy feeling when one hears a motivational talk. It was distinct and was the type of comfort that only comes from the Holy Ghost.

Throughout the past few months as I've asked for relief for my wife and for me, the impression I consistently got was, "Hang in there just a little longer." Although not the answer I was looking for, I've tried to be patient and not lose steam. This Monday we will complete our 13th anniversary. It's going to be an exceptionally hard day for me. I try so hard to focus on the good times we had. On what a great wife she has been. On how we have honored our temple covenants and will be together again, but I unfortunately drift back to feeling sorry for myself far too often. I have probably cried at least once a day over the past couple of months. More than my previous 37 years combined. I know that the purpose of this life is to grow stronger and gain experience to become more like our Father in Heaven. And just like weight lifting, there is no way to get stronger without pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone. We need to do hard things to become stronger. But even though I understand that, it doesn't make it easier when you are in the middle of it. 


Jared + Carly Reid said...

We love you, Cody & Lisa. We love you so much.

Sarah said...

You're amazing. And your family is so, so loved.

Starley Family said...

Cody you are so amazing. I'm so very happy that this side of life is over now. I know being on the other side with my brother that hugs his wife as she bawls every Jan 31st over her first husband that there will be hard days ahead but I know also from very sacred moments that she is right there. She isn't going anywhere. The spirit world is truly here on earth and from our experiences with Derek she will be right there as a whispering voice to guide your children along the tests coming. I pray for the second coming to come soon and to have you all together again. Much love! Stacey and Nate