Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

It just keeps getting worse

I can think of no plan that a higher being would have that would take a woman as wonderful as Billy Jo at such a young age.

Yet, suppose there is a plan. OK - I accept it. Now, what in the everloving fuck are they waiting for?

There is no reason to keep Billy Jo on this earth any longer. She is either suffering in pain, unconscious, conscious but so confused and unable to communicate, or, less than one-tenth of one percent of the time, she is lucid and very very worried about everyone but herself.

If you cannot already tell by my rant, last night was hell.

The Ativan wore off about 3:00am. The cat woke up my friend Chris who spent the night, and he woke me up. Even with the bars on the hospital bed, she was up and almost out of it. Calming her down took some time and effort, and she was very confused. Once I changed her and got her back in a laying position, I had to wait and wait for the magical seven breaths per minute before dosing her. During this time she was so confused and angry that she couldn't get her words across. She didn't know she was at home. She thought I had her transferred to the hospice home. Once I assured her that would never, ever happen, she became lucid and said "what's going on? am I dying?" I had a mostly one-way 45 minute conversation with her during this time. A conversation I would repeat at 7:00am when we went through this all over again, only worse that time. Finally the breaths hit 7 and I gave her the Ativan about 4:45 or so.

There are now visible tumors (lumps the size of half-oranges) near the skin on her sides and back. Dark veins map everywhere. It's fucked up, but I think that this cancer has tricked her heart into continuing to pump so it can continue to grow. It is relentless. I don't know how she is living through this. It's a nightmare.

7:00am and she was up and part two began. This time she was in tears. Worried about everyone. Worried about me. Scared. Then she went out again. She woke again and said she was in a room. I asked her to describe it and she didn't respond. A few minutes later she woke up and said she was pretty sure the room was in a church. She asked through tears and crying if she could let me go.

I told her yes, that I want nothing more at this point than for her to let me and everyone else go. I told once again it was time to put herself first for once. I told her that I cannot imagine how scared she must feel at that time. I told her I was sorry there was nothing else I could do but continue to care for her (which causes her physical pain) and hold her hand, which I did for the next 2 1/2 hours, sitting next to her in a chair. At one point I fell asleep with my head on the bedrail. Finally about 10:00am her aunt (a nurse) recorded seven breaths (three of them faint, but there) in a minute and we dosed her again. Her pulse, usually 95-115 the past week, was down to 60.

Right before her aunt and mom came upstairs, before that dose, I told her that she is so strong and brave to have fought for so long. I told her that people will remember how great she was, how nice she was, how caring she was, how strong she was, how brave she was. They'll forget the cancer. They'll remember her. In this way, she has indeed beaten cancer, even as it takes her life. I told her once that cancer has taken her life, her cancer dies with her.

Yet SHE remains in our hearts and minds. Cancer can't take that from us. No, cancer doesn't get to "win" this one. I won't let it, and I know I'm not alone.

Fuck you cancer. You picked the wrong girl.