August 21, 2005
Here's A Little Something
The mothers and I just got back home from NY this evening, so I still don't have enough sense to post something real. In the meantime, here's Roxy, who somehow never made it onto the site before, despite being LOVED by her dad.
And while you're here, why don't you enjoy this quotation from Thomas Merton (a fave of Dan's) that I included in his service last week?
“Yesterday, in Louisville, at the corner of 4th and Walnut, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness. The whole illusion of a separate holy existence is a dream. Not that I question the reality of my vocation, or of my monastic life: but the conception of "separation from the world" that we have in the monastery too easily presents itself as a complete illusion . . . I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”
August 18, 2005
I'm not sure if anybody is still checking in or not, but I thought I'd let you all know that I am probably going to collect my thought(s) over the next few days and post something final next week. Then I will have to figure out how to print out all of the cancer posts because Dan wanted to have them published. I guess that is a project for me now. Anyhoo, have a good weekend and talk to you later.
August 13, 2005
Services for Dan
Calling hours will be Monday from 5 pm to 8 pm at Lane Funeral Home in Austintown, Ohio. A service will be held in Dan's honor on Tuesday at 11 am at West Side Baptist Church in Youngstown, Ohio. There will also be calling hours before the service at 10 am.
During the service on Tuesday, there will be a time for people to share a memory of or reflection on Dan. After reading some of the previous entries on this weblog, I think I might have someone read some of them during this time. So feel free to post your thoughts and feelings about Dan. He obviously affected many people and I want his funeral to reflect this fact.
August 12, 2005
I am sad to report that your fair host and friend is no longer with us.
The doctors told us today that even if Dan did survive the pneumonia and associated problems he would not be strong enough to receive more chemotherapy for a while. The pulmonologist also said that the fluid in his lungs was probably almost gone, but the tumors were probably what was causing problems in his chest (in addition to the pneumonia). Considering that it's already been over a month since he had chemo, he decided that it was time to end his struggle. After receiving enough drugs to make him sleep and become unaware of what was going on, he was taken off the ventilator. Less than an hour later, he took his last breath. He did not struggle or have any pain. I am thankful that he was able to call the shots the entire time. It ensured that all measures taken were what he wanted, and it took a huge burden off of me. All I had to do was make sure he was asleep before the tube came out.
Dan was a blessing to many people and I would not be the person I am without him. If I could do it all over again, I would not hesitate to love him and be married to him again, even if I had to lose him again.
I will post information about his services for those of you who live around here or are just curious.
And just so you know, he received a big stack of Send-A-Smiles at the hospital today and most of them were from you guys. Thank you for your love and support.
August 11, 2005
No real news, but read this anyway because my husband has cancer and I said so.
There's not much to update except that Dan's blood cell counts are a little low so he might get another blood transfusion tonight.
When we went to visit tonight, he was watching pre-season NFL starring the fabulous Green Bay Packers.
Also, if you go to www.hmpartners.org and click on send a smile at the right, you can send Dan a message. I thought I remembered that they didn't deliver messages to the intensive care units, but the web page doesn't say that, so give it a try. His location is St. Elizabeth Health Center. He would love to hear from all of you!
A Little More Good News
The endoscopy today showed no blockage so Dan got the feeding tube put in today with no problem. His red blood cell count was low last night so he got a blood transfusion. Also last night he had some trouble breathing for a minute and ended up coughing up quite a bit of phglem. Then he was OK. The pulmonologist said his right lung looked better in the x-ray this morning. He said that when he came in Tuesday night, Dan's lung was infected about 75% pneumonia and now it's less than 50%.
His nurse asked this morning if Dan would want his face shaved. When I asked him, he said (in writing)no because it would take too much out of him right now and because there were some "hot chicks" on the floor and he thought they were into the rugged look. I reminded him that he is married.
So, more good news. The pneumonia is still a problem, but we'll take a little good news each day. I am still waiting to hear about the cancer. The oncologist might be in this afternoon, so I may know something later today.
Thank you all again for your prayers! God must be listening to at least one of us, so don't anybody stop in case it's you!
August 10, 2005
Well, since I probably scared everyone earlier, I'm glad to report some good news. The x-ray Dan had this morning was better than the one he had in the ER last night. Since he is on a ventilator, they will take an x-ray every morning so we will be able to check his progress fairly well.
The drug he is on for his blood pressure has been decreased slightly over the day and his blood pressure has stayed fairly level.
They have the vent set up to give him 12 breaths every minute. While I was in the room this evening, he was taking anywhere from 17 to 26 total breaths, meaning that some of them were on his own.
He is still very aware of what is going on, and I make sure he understands everything that happens. He started to use sign language to tell me something tonight. I guess I will check the internet tonight for an ASL guide. I also gave him a sheet of paper and a pen so he could write out a reminder to me to pay the bills.
While this is good news, he is still in trouble and needs lots of prayer. The pneumonia in the right lung is still bad, even though it did get a little better.
Also, when they tried to place the feeding tube today, they couldn't get it in. They are going to do an endoscopy in the morning to see what the problem is.
Our mothers arrived safely and we are all looking forward to some sleep.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
Comments Seem To Be Working!
Isn't that something?
Update on Your Host
This is the Mrs. I am pretty tired right now, so I'm just going to post what I e-mailed to friends and family a few minutes ago. I wish comments were working. I know that many of you would have nice things to say. I'll try to work on that some time.
I'm not one for real-life cliff-hangers, so I'll tell you up front that Dan is alive.
Now, here's the rest.
Here are the facts. Dan did not go for the x-ray Tuesday evening because he felt like he just couldn't get up and walk out of the house. As the evening progressed (between 8 pm and 10 pm), his breathing became worse and his blood pressure was very, very high, even after taking his blood pressure medication. At around 10:15, he asked me to call for an ambulance. He was taken to the ER where he was given lots of drugs, oxygen, etc. The machine he was placed on for oxygen forced air into his lungs. His pulmonologist came to review everything while he was in the ER. An x-ray showed that his pneumonia was worse in addition to the fluid around his left lung.
He said the pneumonia was very bad. He told me that he did not think Dan would make it through this episode. Dan was admitted to the Coronary Care Unit about 45 minutes later. Soon after arriving at his room, his vital signs were stable. After being on the oxygen machine (I can't remember the name of the machine), he requested to be intubated because it was becoming too difficult for him to breathe on his own. He was intubated successfully and his vital signs returned to normal. The "life-saving measures" he is currently on are the ventilator and a drug to keep his heart beating. The doctor said this morning that he was doing better than when he was in the ER last night. When I spoke to the nurse and doctors around 10:30 am today, they told me that they were in the process of weaning him off the heart drug and he was breathing, for the most part, on his own. When I asked the doctor what was actually threatening his life, he said it was the pneumonia. I'm not sure what's going on with the cancer because the oncologist has to get involved in that. However, the pulmonologist feels strongly that the cancer and fluid around the left lung are secondary to the pneumonia. He is on two antibiotics for this. Through the time I left at around 11:00 am, Dan was aware of everything going on, able to comprehend, and able to make decisions. Until this changes, he will be making decisions about his care.
Here are the things the doctors and nurses cannot tell us. It is not up to any of us whether or not Dan lives or dies. He knows that and I know that. I want him to live, but I have told him that if he feels like this is it, he needs to do what he thinks is right. He has always had a very good sense for these things, and I have no doubt that this will remain true. He has not given up, but all I can say is that what he has experienced with God transcends, I believe, what we haphazardly call "faith" and "trust" in God to know when he is being called to do something.
Please pray for Dan that his body will strengthen and the pneumonia will go away so that he can fight the horrible disease that has brought these problems on him.
Please pray for me that if a time comes to make decisions about supporting my husband's life, I will have the courage to do what I know he wants.
Please pray for those who are lovingly caring for my husband right now. They have all been wonderful. Even the housekeepers I used to work with who joined hands with my friends and I this morning to pray in the waiting room.
Please pray for my mother and Dan's mother who just landed at Cleveland-Hopkins Airport and are driving to my house.
Please pray for all of the people who love Dan as much as I do that they will be comforted that he is not in pain, is alert, and knows how to live and how to die.
I hope this doesn't sound like we have given up. We have not. But we have given in to God's grace and mercy because he has gifted us both with lots of love and happiness which we hope will continue for many, many years.
Thank you all for your prayers. You have all been sent this e-mail because you are special to Dan and to me and are a part of our lives and always will be.
August 08, 2005
Dan will not be getting a CT today because you have to lie down for five minutes and he can't lie down for five seconds without breathing problems. The doctor's office will call this afternoon with some kind of next step, which will hopefully involve clearing the fluid around his left lung so he can breathe.
August 07, 2005
Popping Culture News Flash
Dan is sleeping downstairs tonight because he's tired of messing with the stairs and he found a comfortable position in his chair that helps his breathing. So he asked me to check in and let you all know he'll be back soon.
Also, it looks like comments are not working again, so we'll have to check that out.
Also, here's a word from Francis the cat.
g hjongfuxd5trnpblwzfr m mjp
More news tomorrow.
August 06, 2005
Let's put two evils of society together: Bobby Knight and reality TV.
The Hall of Fame coach will star in ESPN's "Knight School," in which 16 students will vie for a spot on his 2006-07 Texas Tech basketball team.
Please kill me.
Not everyone is upset about soaring gas prices.
ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond just announced he's going to retire – with more than half a billion bucks.
Oh, Holy Saturday!
NFL football is back on television, tonight at 6 p.m. EST. And there was much rejoicing.
Living to see another football season was one of my goals, and while this is still just preseason football, it smells like victory.
August 04, 2005
Popping Cancer Update.
Consider no news good news this time.
I'm stone tired. A full day of breathing has me wiped out and I'm off to sleep.
Just enough strength to load the normal sleepy-time graphic.
A wee curiosity.
Here's a list of various Disney characters' names in different languages.
I'm Lance! Let's date!
August 03, 2005
And now, meet Francis.
First of all, you need to know that we have a little St. Francis statue on our porch. Also, we get a lot of stray animals.
This is a cat that has taken up residence on our porch. It has many fleas, so it can't come in. If it is still out there in the morning, Mrs. Popping Culture is taking it (we think it's a she) to the vet to get cleaned up and we'll probably keep it.
The name, male or female, will be Francis, obviously.
Meet Mr. Over-reaction.
Two teens egged his truck. He shot one of them to death.
August 02, 2005
Popping Cancer Update.
Saw the cancer doctor today. He said no chemotherapy for another two weeks, to give me time to get my lungs straight. I'm breathing a little easier, which indicates the pneumonia is going away, but I still can't climb the stairs without fits or even walk to the bathroom without needing to rest and catch my breath.
So the schedule from the last update remains the same so far. That's pretty much it: it was a relatively uneventful visit.
Ah, the good old days.
Here is an interesting collection of advertisements from back in the pre-Prohibition days when cocaine, heroin and amphetamines were legal.
Yours for only $300.
Every episode of Sex and the City.
Comments are on. A one-time minute of annoyance now required.
The spam is not going to slow back down, so here's the deal:
Comments are on! However, you need to register with Popping Culture one time and one time only, then simply provide your posting name and password (which your computer's cookies will put up for you anyway) when you comment.
When you comment for the first time, you will be directed to a website for TypeKey, which will get your name and an email address. That's all.
I'm excited. Somebody try it!
This post will remain at the top for a while.
August 01, 2005
Monday Night Ponderable.
Cat Drinking Songs!
Get 'em while they're cold, frugal shoppers!
Now is the perfect time of year to save a whopping 83 percent on this state of the art ice cream maker. (normally $49.96, now $9.99)
No, I'm not a shill (or a chill, in this case), I just thought one of you might be interested.
What will they think of next?
Well, SOMEBODY might find this interesting.
Now I have to see The Honeymoon Machine.