Friday, February 13, 2009

She'll Be Leaving Us Soon

My very dear friend, Gail, was sent home from the hospital with Hospice last week. She's been fighting breast cancer for the past few years. I spoke with our friend Connie this evening, and she told me that Gail is in and out of consciousness, and that the end will be very, very soon.

I met Gail when I moved to North Carolina, 11 years ago this July, when I found my cross-stitch group. She's been a wonderful friend to me. When I was pregnant with Isaac, and couldn't go to stitching because it hurt too much to sit in the chairs, she came and spent Thursday evenings with me. She said she thought I needed her more than they did. Sometimes she brought dinner, and sometimes I cooked. She helped with the baby when she could. She adored my girls. We had such a good time.

When she told us she had breast cancer, all of us were very worried, of course. Gail did everything her doctors recommended, had every treatment, every follow-up, dotted ever "i" and crossed every "t." There wasn't much cancer when they found it, so we thought she was good to go.

The next year, though, her cancer returned, and it was already stage 4 when they found it. If you know cancer lingo, you know this was not good news. She still fought it, though, and has endured every treatment her doctors could come up with. She was able to get in with an excellent doctor at Duke, who specializes in pre-menopausal women with breast cancer. They would continue each treatment as long as it made a difference. When it stopped working, they changed tactics.

I knew she wasn't getting better, exactly, but I thought she was holding her own. Then, when we had our stitching group's Christmas party, she told us that she'd intended to give us all what she thought we wanted most for Christmas - babysitting for me - but she couldn't do it. She'd been blacking out, she said, and couldn't watch the kids, not knowing what would happen. Then we learned that the cancer had spread to her liver, and then to her spleen.

My friend Connie and our other friend Sandy went to see her a few of weeks ago, and she'd told me that Gail looked really good then. When I spoke with her last night, though, she said that Gail's abdomen had been very swollen from the cancer in her organs.

Last week, I had to call and say I couldn't come to stitching because Isaac was still sick. Connie told me then that Gail had been in the hospital, and had been sent home with Hospice. She told me that meant she'd probably be gone within 6 months.

Last night, I had to call and say I couldn't come to stitching because I am sick, and Connie told me that Gail has been in and out of consciousness, thrashing around some when she started to wake up or her pain meds started to wear off, so the end was getting closer.

I just called Gail's sweet husband, Bob, and he told me that she's likely to pass away tonight or tomorrow. He said it's all right for me to come see her, even though I have a cold. When I asked him if there is anything he needs, he broke down. Crying, he told me he just needs his wife back. He loves her so much. I don't know what he will do when she is gone.

I'm going to miss her so much. I guess I thought there would always be more time. I didn't think this day would really come.

Go in peace, my friend. Heaven will be a more beautiful place with your sweet soul in it.

1 comment: