Maggie is back at the Markey Cancer Center

by CynthiaYockey on September 12, 2010

Awesome Nephew called me late Friday afternoon to relay a message from Maggie’s sister that she had gotten a good report on the results of her chemo and was on her way back to her brother’s home. However, shortly after I got home from the FreedomWorks 9/12 March and Rally in Washington, D.C., this evening, I received a call from Maggie’s sister that Maggie’s condition has deteriorated and she is back in Lexington, KY, at the Markey Cancer Center.

After Maggie was discharged from hospital in Lexington on Friday and left with her brother and sister, someone reviewed Maggie’s blood tests and  discovered her platelets were very low. They called her and told her to come back to the ER before she made it to the edge of town. The three of them spent all night at the ER so they could get the platelet situation improved and Maggie was discharged on Saturday. Maggie was at her brother’s home early Sunday morning when she began to vomit blood again. From the local hospital’s ER, Maggie was transported back to the Markey Cancer Center in Lexington. Her brother and sister are with her. Maggie is unconscious.

Maggie’s brother and sister are scheduled to talk with a social worker tomorrow about Maggie’s end-of-life care decisions. A social worker is not licensed to practice medicine and therefore is extremely unlikely to explain the implications of any of the decisions, such as CPR, ventilation (intubation and connection to a breathing machine), feeding tube or antibiotics. Maggie has not been eating or drinking for some time, judging from how thin she is. Her sister says they cannot get Maggie to eat or drink. I’ve explained that as the body is shutting down in the end-of-life process, it can’t handle much food or drink. I also told her that CPR will break Maggie’s ribs, but restoring her heart rhythm is not going to cure her or give her much more time. Also, when someone is dying and intubation for ventilation is not a bridge back to health, it can be difficult to end.

Everyone is fighting in accordance with Maggie’s wishes for her to have every moment of life we can get for her. But my observation in providing end-of-life care for my late life partner and other loved ones is that when Death means business, he comes from several directions. I don’t think Maggie will make it home for me to care for her. Right now we don’t feel sure she will regain consciousness. I appreciate all prayers and good thoughts for her.

(Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and I’m not giving medical advice. Please consult a licensed medical professional for advice specific to your situation.)

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