Turn for the Worse

From James:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28

I was reluctant to write this post, since I’m not sure of the correct forum through which to convey this kind of information, but since we’ve relied on the blog so much until now, here it goes…

So Young has had some breathing difficulties over the past couple of days. Her food and fluid intake has been steadily decreasing. Last night we couldn’t wake her up, but actually she did eat some apple sauce and a small amount of fluid while seemingly asleep. She has shown more signs of agitation than in the past, which may be the result of pain or discomfort she is feeling or impending death. We don’t think she has brain tumor-related pain. It would seem to be only pain related to laying in the bed for a long time.

The hospice nurse visited yesterday and said he thinks she could go at any time. He believes she has taken a turn for the worse. This is something that experienced hospice people can see in the face and eyes of the patient. I looked at her, and I do see a darkness around the eyes. Her face is slack. Her eyes, when open, have a vacant quality to them.

Typically, terminal brain tumor patients eventually fall asleep and can’t be woken up at all (or for very long) and eventually die in a coma-like sleep after a few days. So it would seem that So Young is close to death, although it is also possible she will suddenly bounce back or last a while longer in a diminished state.

I am giving her morphine for pain and medication to ease her anxiety, as needed. I am putting her on oxygen a lot more. I’m trying to feed her and give her liquids, but not so much that I risk her choking.

Before she fell asleep, So Young was trying to say things every once in a while, but nobody could understand them, and it’s impossible to know if they would make any sense if we understood them. She seemed to have something to say. We just didn’t know what it was. I think the way she has lived her life stands on its own. No words necessary.

I ask for your prayers for So Young, that she would not suffer in her death. It has been a blessing that she hasn’t had much pain so far.

Of course you know I covet your prayers for the girls and me, our family, and everybody who is facing losing a dear friend.

Don’t be sad. I think So Young is going to be a lot happier where she is going. She always talked with great anticipation about going to heaven, more than anybody I knew. She seemed to have a more vibrant notion of it than I ever did, and it always put a smile on her face. I don’t know why God is taking her so early. I just know she will be delighted to be with him when she gets there.

If you feel discouraged, I encourage you to read this past blog post from So Young. I was a real encouragement to me when I read it a couple of days ago. It just shows me that So Young had reached a place of contentment in her life that can seem so elusive to many of us. It gave me some peace.

God Is Good All the Time

I’ll post again if something changes.


10 Responses

  1. James, I am bombarding heaven with prayers for you, So Young and your three daughters — That God would bring each of you courage and a certain peace in this moment. May your good-byes be filled with sweetness, and your tears bring your little family closer to one another and Him.

    Pax Christ,

  2. I’m here in prayer bro.

  3. I will leave a post here so that when your text messages go to the place where deleted text messages go you still have a memory of this conversation. I love you and So Young and the girls so very much, and at anyone’s word I will take the next flight out of Denver and drive down to be with you.

    Her race may be almost over, dearest ones, but think of who is waiting at the finish line for her with wide open arms.

    But oh how I wish it had been an ultra, so we could have more time together.

    Please give her all my love.

  4. almost in tears while reading your post. We don’t know what God’s plans are for you and the kids but we know that it is going to be good. I was with my dad when he took his last breath and I had the privilege to whisper in his ear that he was going to see God in a clearer way. There will be tears of sadness for but it will be mixed with joy.

  5. Praying through the tears. I am praying for God’s strength and love to hold each of you.

  6. James, its hard to say everything that is in my heart but I know you have been blessed with a loving wife and family. We will pray that you can find peace in knowing that she loved you as much as you have loved her. I know that God’s support has given you strength to be by So-Young’s side in her journey. We are thinking and praying for your family.
    Loving you,
    Aunt Sis

  7. I’m saddened. But if the end must be near, hopefully it will be easy and not prolonged. I pray that you and the girls find peace in the time So Young has left, and that she finds peace and comfort in God’s embrace.

  8. James, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. It’s very sad for you and the girls and other family members and close friend. But it is indeed the finish line that we all are racing toward. So Young is almost there now…she will indeed be smiling when she arrives. And you can feel blessed to have helped her so much. God bless you!

  9. James, you and the girls are in my thoughts and prayers. As you said in your post, she is going to a much better place. She’ll be received with wide open arms. She has been an example for all of us in her grace. Take care of yourself and the girls.

  10. I pray for you and the girls, for your family and extended family, James. At your encouragement, I also pray for Guennadi & Svetlana Gumilevskaya from our church. Svetlana is an older woman who has stage four cancer. Thank you for thinking to extend our prayers to “everybody who is facing losing a dear friend”. It is a gift.

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