It is with deep sadness that I share that Pat lost his battle with Pancreatic Cancer on 20 January 2018. He fought long and hard until the very end. On January 8 the doctors shared the devastating news that there was nothing more they could do, and that he should consider hospice care and making sure his affairs were in order.
Early on January 17, Pat’s best friend went to his unit concerned because Pat hadn’t responded to their regular morning text messages. He found Pat collapsed on the living room floor having suffered a stroke. He was transferred to hospital and we were informed a short while later. Our family made the decision to fly home that night and we arrived on the 18th around lunch time. Pat was lucid for much of the afternoon, but the stroke had left him paralysed and unable to speak.
The doctor informed us that due to his condition, both the cancer and the stroke, they had elected to place him on a “care of the dying” pathway. From that point there was no further medical intervention, no IVs, no tests or bp monitoring. We just had time to say our goodbyes. We spent all day Thursday and Friday with him. By Friday evening it seemed the end was drawing near and Pat had made it clear that he didn’t want us there. So late Friday evening we went home. A few hours later, in the wee hours of the morning we received a phone call saying that he had gone.
We celebrated Pat’s life on 25 January, surrounded by his many, diverse friends. We were in awe of how many people’s lives he had touched.
As hard as his death has been for all those who loved and cared for him, it was the way he would have wanted it. He was in his home until the last days and surrounded by loved ones as he approached the end.
WordPress wasn’t working for a while.. so here is a post I started a week before Pat’s death
I can’t believe I last updated in September! A lifetime ago.
Pat is still fighting the battle, but now he’s going it alone. This week the doctor’s shared that there are no more options. The cancer is aggressive and widely spread and we’ve been advised it’s time to consider hospice care and end of life options.
It’s hard to take this news, Pat is still outwardly doing okay. He’s not in pain and he still lives at home, alone, independently. He is functional and not showing the significant tell tale signs of weakening. This week when asked by me, jokingly, what he would do with all his free time now that he didn’t have chemo and doctor’s appointments, he said it wouldn’t make much difference, because he spends most of the day dozing anyway. This was news to me and a good reminder that he is fighting this battle, with everything he has, even if chemo and medicine have failed.
To update, in October we flew home to spend a week with Pat and it was great. We went out a few times for lunch and made lifelong memories. There was lots of happiness, laughter, warm hugs and even a few selfies by Finn. I’m glad we went back. It gave us a chance to have a ‘normal’ visit. Yes, there were moments of sadness – talk of funerals, wills, power of attorney is definitely sombering, but there were more moments of light and laughter.