Friday, August 19, 2011


This was a wonderful day and I am keyed up and exhausted at the same time.  Gene and I have known for sometime that this walk was not going to be easy but we NEVER envisioned this scenario.  We talked about end of life decisions at other times in our marriage because everybody ought to do so with the ones they love.  We knew, we just knew that this walk with the melanoma was not going to be simple or easy or fun but we thought we would face it together.  That we would talk and support each other and I assured him that he could die at home though I don't think I ever used those exact words.  He helped me to care for my mom as she died in her home 20 years ago and again as my grandmother died in her home 15 years ago so he knew that I knew what I was talking about.  and I knew he would be happiest if he could be in our house.  Where we lived and raised our family and loved one another.  During radiation he cried several times that he just wanted to go home so when the brain surgery did not overcome his problems as the neuro surgeon thought it would and the oncologist realized that the bleeding in Gene's brain was becoming more and more profound we all agreed that to go home, where Gene wanted to be, was the decision we could all agree on.

So today we took off all the accouterments of Neurological Critical Care.  Off came the EKG sensors [and the chest hair!]  Off came the IV's and accompanying tape that makes you sweat and itch.  Off came the inflating leg wraps with their constant inflate -deflate noises.  Out will come the scalp staples [in a few more days]  Out came the big tube running to his stomach and in went a little tiny tube to offer his body comforting water, food and medications.  Off came the restraint to hold his working hand to the bed, in came the mitten to protect him from pulling tubes out [Just the catheter and the feeding tube remain]  Out went the high doses of salt and in came the pain meds and home we came.

Once settled he seemed to sleep for 4 hours!  Though it is hard to tell sleep from rest he looks so much more comfortable in his NRA tee shirt and tomorrow we hope to find his favorite ball cap, that of honorably discharged AirForce veteran.

Tomorrow holds legal paperwork and meeting the hospice team.  Tonight holds naps and turning Gene every few hours.  Tonight the prayer warriors and family arrived --what more could a man desire than to be surrounded by people who love him and the saints of the Lord to lift him up and to care for his family?

I am thankful for this day and yet so deeply deeply sad.


Barbara said...

Isaiah 40:31

Barbara said...

You all are ... as always... in our hearts and prayers.

" Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11: 28

Anonymous said...

You don't know me but I found your blog through my cousin and I have been reading and praying ever since.

In so many ways ya'll are like us, our 25th anniversary is in a couple of weeks so we have been married about the same amount of time; like Gene, I keep everything forever; like Gene, I don't like a lot of attention and I love love love to be at home.

I brought my mother home to die 3.5 years ago..... these are holy hours and days left, but you know that. The Lord is so very present in all you write.... you and Gene are near and dear to his heart and he will walk with you to the end....Gene's entrance into glory. I am praying for you often as you hang on my heart. I'm thankful with you that you are home and surrounded by love.


Frances said...

" ... I am in a manner imprisoned and grievously fettered till Thou refresh me with the light of Thy presence. And then? But who can tell it? Who can tell what Thou art, O Lord? Who can tell what Thou doest? Who can show to another what Thy large grace can be?"

Dear Joanie ...

Those words were written by Amy Carmichael many, many years ago while she was confined to her bed for the last eighteen years of her life. She wrote a book called "Rose From Brier", written for the sick from the sick. "Who can tell what Thou art, O God?" We don't know the depths of those words until we are faced with things such as you are facing. The commenter, Lee, spoke of these days as holy days. How very true. "Who can show to another what Thy large grace can be? You are giving us glimpses of that Large Grace. And it makes us so thankful because it once again shows us Who He Is.

Amy also wrote " ... I knew something that morning of what it will be when He shall look us out of pain." Just a look. Out of pain. That is Who He Is.

Many hearts are holding you and your family during these sad yet holy days. May the preciousness of Who He Is envelop you.


Anonymous said...

Dear Adkins Family,

You will surely know the Father in an intimate, unique way during this time, as is already evident in what you've written. We care for you all and are lifting you up in prayer. May He hold you tenderly and reveal His wondrous love.

Ryan McKelvey and family