This could make unpleasant reading
Died: Sunday 17, Sept 2006, 12.00
The Final leg of the Marathon
to be completed
the spinal implant
The perspiration, nightmares shifting into the waking day, increasing muscle
drink with out spilling), confusion, groggyness, slurred speech, etc were getting
Priorities were now:
1 keep pain to bearable levels
keep mind clear
3 world peace, and other easily obtainable goals
(up until the previous week, while working as a teacher, priority 1 and 2 were
After the original cancer operation and treatment she
lost a lot of weight, but in the last few months or weeks, she was looking
even thinner. Fluid retention was keeping her weight reasonably constant,
but she was losing condition rapidly. Her eye sockets had become so hollow
that she couldnt close her eyes anymore. At first she slept with one
eye open, then both. For months she had slept sitting upright, with her
mouth open. Now her sleep involved interactive conversations, arm waving,
lots of writing and continuous muscle movement.
Some teeth had fallen apart.
tap operation (intrathecal
To reduce the side effects from the huge levels of oral Morphine, it
was decided to use a spinal morphine pump implant. This should feed tiny
amounts directly to the nerves.
The pump feeds painkiller and morphine continuously into her spine at
a set rate, and also allows a bolus (extra
'large dose' top-up) to control peak pain. (The bolus has a 15 minute
time-out to stop excessive or dangerous overuse)
It was hoped that this would give her a clear mind, ease her speech, and remove
The operation goes ahead at about 11.45... She is
released from recovery near 3 pm.
A tube is fed into her spine then looped around (under
the skin to the front of her belly)
She appeared to be quite groggy most of the day from the
anaesthetic on top of the previous days morphine use.
On average over the last few weeks, she appeared to have a clearer mind
in the evenings, especially when she had visitors. We are hoping she
will be better tomorrow.
from the operation are leaking a little... probably from the fluid retention
under the skin.
She is not better. She is getting good pain relief, and eating, however
she didnt sleep, and is less clear headed and slurring her words. We
are expecting her to be discharged on friday.
Still no sleep, and today even worse than yesterday.
It has been suggested to me today that she is unlikely to recover sufficiently
to leave the hospital. She asked for the last rites to be read...
The surgeon was worried about the leaking from the incisions, because
of the risk of infection causing meningitis. He appeared to believe
that the leaking was from a split in the tube.
She is eating less.
In preperation for tomorrows operation she has nil by mouth from midnight
tap operation (a
day from Hell ) Fri
No sleep, no food, no water, but her mind seemed a little clearer this
The upcoming operation seemed to scare her a little.
The operation was at about 11.30am. We were expecting this operation
to be quicker and easier than the previous one.
The operation results can be read in more detail here.
After the operation she was struggling to breath and increasingly anxious.
The priest arrived to administer the last rites.
We discussed the use of a sedative, and it was agreed that tomorrow
she would be able to sleep.
at last Sat
Still no sleep, no food or water...
Finding herself transformed into a shrunken old lady, she was now running
a marathon just trying to get enough air to breath. Breaths were getting
smaller and faster.
Everyone there said their last goodbyes at mid-day,
and a terminal sedative was given to her mid-afternoon. (A terminal sedative
means it will allow her to sleep stress-free until her death. It does
not in any way hasten her death).
As the sedative was given to her, (by injection) she relaxed, her breathing
eased, and she smiled. The fighting and fear was over for her. At last
she could rest.
For years now, I have always finished the day by saying
"night night Anne".
So, as she went to sleep this last time, I said it again... and her final
words back to me were... "night night" and she smiled and went to sleep.
Notice Sun 17 Sept 06
The Dragon's wife died in hospital on Sunday 17 Sept at
12.00 mid-day. Funeral at the Catholic Cathedral on Wed
20 Sept at 1.30pm
"night night Anne"
20 Sept 06
On the day of the funeral we were surprised to hear that the priest
that read her last rights had just died.