Hospice

This is The Hubs. Beth is not doing well. This was the last post that she was struggling with the last couple of days. She is not doing well and it will be soon, likely in the next couple of days that she passes if not sooner. Note: The post referse to the Death with Dignity laws here. She spiraled too quickly, so that is no longer an option.

On Friday, as we were headed for some more HLA platelets, #bestdocever sent The Hubs and me a text explaining that the lung doc doesn’t think that a stint will work on my lung. And we knew. We knew this meant that there was nothing more that could be done for me. I texted him back and asked if the platelets were going to make me feel any better, and he said “nah.” And I said “Then I won’t be going to the influsions anymore.” And he was like “Cool.”

The Hubs and I went home and cried. A lot. It felt like when we found out that I had stage IV cancer–we went home and climbed in bed and cried and faced my death. It was the first time time I’d seen The Hubs having to deal with the reality of my terminal diagnosis, and now, he had to deal with the reality of my mortality, again. And now we wait for my death because I am in hospice. 

I am in hospice.

I am in hospice. This means that some folks from the hospice drop off O2, a machine that makes O2 out of the air, some other things (like a cool table); a nurse will check on me sometime; someone might help The Hubs with some care for me occasionally. But there is nothing that they can do to extend my life at this point. There’s no chance of survival. That’s always been been true, but it’s in our faces now. I honestly don’t know what to say. The thing about trees is that they don’t live forever. All of my trees who I love so much, with all of my heart, are going to die of metastatic cancer, just like me. 

Here’s how it will happen: The Hubs will go with me to talk to #bestdocever on Tuesday. We’ll discuss with them the Death with Dignity prescription (we have compleated all the paperwork), and he will write the prescription I’ll need for Death with Dignity. In the mean time, before I take the pills, I’ll say these are the people that I want to speak to before I die. We have a list. After we get the prescription The Hubs will drive to a pharmacy on Lake Washington, where he will get the pills I need. It won’t take long to get it. 

After we get the prescription, we will see the people that we want to see–family, friends–and then, we will see how I feel. If I have no quality of life, I believe I’ll opt for the pills. If I don’t want to, or just want to let things take its course, I will. I’m really glad I live in a state that has Death with Dignity as an option. It’s something that should be the right of each person. Maybe you all disagree with me–that’s OK. I know some people don’t agree and that’s why they don’t have that right in their state. 

I’m going to miss all of you. ALL of you. 

70 thoughts on “Hospice

  1. Mr. Caldwell…..I will leave my email addy here if you need someone to chat too,I’m a good listener and with great sadness I welcome you to our circle. Your wife was and is an amazing soul.

  2. I have never met you but my son is in your daughter’s class. They met in jumpstart and she was one of two people he mentioned by name and he was so excited to have her as a friend. Thank you for sharing your story. Your heart has touched mine. Will continue to hold you and you family close.

  3. There certainly seems to be a scurry of “what to dos” to be done right at the end. No matter what we try, it comes in its own time.
    But just think… you are either going to the most interesting party in history, or you are going to be hanging out with the most interesting people who’ve ever lived… either way? It WILL be a party. Peace to you. ❤️

  4. though I’ve just found you, I will miss you… You’ve touched my heart and I send you much love as you make your way into the other worlds. May it be easy. May it be filled with love. May your being be filled with grace…
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  5. What others think or believe about Death with Dignity matter not. What matters is what you want, how you want to go when in fact you go. I understand that the option is no longer yours as progression of this ugly disease has taken over. For that, I am so very sorry. I would prefer you had the choice to do as you wanted to. I am praying for you today. For you, for your husband, your children, your dad, Jim and your step-mom, Jazz. For peace and comfort for all as your life is taken from you and from them. I go to see #bestdocever tomorrow. I will tell him hello and thank him for all he tried to do for you. You are amazing Beth. You will be missed far greater than words can express.

  6. Love and peace is all that is left in your all to short time on this earth. Your families grief is before them and unimaginable. I know this was not the plan. We should all live to a ripe old age. Shit hand, shit hand, shit hand. Thank you for your words and deeds in the fight to get us metsters recognized. It was never in vain and will be remembered always by those of us left behind. Healing blessings to your family as you transition to the next adventure.

  7. I know you are not religious but I know you said I could pray as it can’t make things worse- love that- so funny and lovely and brave.
    I just want you to know that today is All Saints Day for the Catholic faith – my choice of religion. And I am going to go to Mass and light a candle for you. Don’t get mad! I know you would HATE to be called a saint..and , technically, you can’t be one until a miracle happens in your name…but , hey….maybe?
    But I am lighting a candle so that , in some small way, I can show the world the light you spread. The light of awareness. Of truth. Of honesty.

    And I will be keeping up your campaign of finding a cure.

    You did that. You opened my eyes to the inadequate funding and research and for a cure for MBC.

    So your candle will shine today. Not because you are a saint but because you shed light upon the world about a very important issue.

    I don’t think a lot of people can say that about themselves.

    I’m so sorry that the cost of the world benefiting from you is your life.

    But I thank you.

    Godspeed. Love. Prayers.

    1. I have followed you off and on and I’m so sorry. My Mom was diagnosed at 41 (56 years ago) with breast cancer and 15 years later it went to the bones and she passed 2 years later. My 39 year old niece passed 2 years ago from stage IV breast cancer and I am a breast cancer survivor for 11 years.
      What I really want to say is that I see you are not a believer in our amazing God and Savior who gave His only son to die for us. He loves you more than you can ever love anyone and I so want you to know Him. There is so much hope in eternity. I will be praying for you and your soul. God bless you sweet girl and daughter of our Lord and King. I don’t want to offend; I just want you to find the peace that only Jesus can give you.

  8. Beth, I lost one of my oldest and dearest friends to MBC on Monday. And as I have cried for her over the past several days, now I cry for you. Thank you for giving me a window into what she may have been thinking and feeling during her journey. She and I are separated by several states and I was not able to be there with her… but thanks to your honesty and eloquence, I feel I have an understanding of what these recent days were really like. Thank you, thank you, thank you and I wish you peace, comfort, love and calm in the days and hours to come.

  9. Bless your Heart Beth
    I no what its like to lose a LOVED ONE…
    My husband who i fell in love with at the age of 12 yes 12 but didn’t marry until i was 21 passed away from Agressive Liver Cancer in 2013..
    Found out on our Eldest Daughter’s 27th Birthday an 3 weeks later he was gone..
    Im feeling your Pain..
    It Fukn Sucks…
    I am sending you an all your Family lots of Love and Warm Loving Hugs…
    Xox

  10. I am speechless, but need to say something. It is so hard to find the words. We have never met. You have taught me so much through your unselfish, unfiltered story. You deserved better. THANK YOU for sharing all of this terrible journey. You have helped so many. I hate cancer! I am so very sorry.

  11. Words will not express the joy, strength and courage you bring to so many. The laughter, smiles and band jokes will be how I forever will remember you. Swinging in DC at Dave’s graduation- before you met my friend J. Your J. The two of you were meant for each other/ crazy how twisted together the college years and after college years were. Love the connection to GW and UW! Best of both worlds. Our family grieves this world without you Beth. We grieve for your family and promise to continue to share the stories and exchange the years of accumulated photos. Oh yes- we have photos for the appropriate time. For now- know you are loved and we wish you peace in passing. Until we meet again…

  12. Dear Beth, I know of you from Jennie G.’s posts. Your courage and honesty and eloquence are an enormous gift to all. Please know this: you will NOT be forgotten. I hope your death will be without pain and that you will experience love and peace. Thank you.

  13. Dear Beth and Family–I know of you from Jennie G.’s posts. You give all who know of you an enormous gift by your honesty, candor and eloquence. Thank you with all my heart. I hope your death is peaceful and you are with those who love you. You will NOT be forgotten.

    Wendy

  14. I will take Beth’s courage, articulate intelligence, relentless energy and curiosity (yes, even while struggling for breath) as an ideal role model for how to live and die with dignity. My love to her and to J, Jim, Maggie, and your families.

  15. Beth, you have handled life with dignity and grace! Thank you for all that you have done for Metastatic Breast Cancer for all of us Sisters! I love you as you end your transition from earth to Heaven! Angels please take our sister BETH into your arms and we will all join you in HEAVEN ONE DAY!

  16. She is dying as she lived. Her wsy. With passion and conviction right up to the end. I love you Beth. I love you, J. I’ll miss you and your voice, Beth. I’ll miss that the rest of my life.

  17. J, Beth knows how much I love her and that she is the person who started me on my quest to make a change for mbc patients. She connected me with Corrie Painter and Nikhil Wagle – introductions which led to my foundation and funding Nik’s lab. She is boundless in her passion, her love, her brilliance, her vision, her courage and it is contagious in the very best way. She has been our fearless leader but we will carry out her work in her honor and make her proud. I know she may not believe this – but a spirit like that – doesn’t really die. It can’t – too strong. But I know there is little if any comfort in that as her physical being is what you guys want to hold on to. We all do. I wish so badly that you and the kids didn’t have to lose her. You have been the very best husband anyone could ask for to her J. Thank you. Hug her for all of us. Please know the MBC community is made of of so many bad ass women and men who are all here for you and your kids whatever you need. We are here.
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  18. Oh Beth, I will miss you so much. You are such a force in our world. I can’t tell you how you have inspired me and so many others. Your grace, bit more so, your down to earth touchable side will resonate forever. I will always remember you curled up on a couch in Philly, bottle in hand as we relived the events of the day. Rest easy my sweet funny friend, you will never be forgotten and what you have started, we’ll carry through. Love you my beautiful friend.

  19. Dear Beth & her Hubs :

    Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Your very private & painful story. I pray for your comfort Beth & family in your grief. Cancer F-ing sucks.
    Sending you much love ❤️ & Light.

  20. Beth, I am praying for you and your family. May God be with you and your family. Thank you for all your work you have done for all of us with METS. We will all be together in heaven one day. You are so loved. God be with you.

  21. Praying for a miracle..praying with all my heart that when God chooses to call you home to Him, I pray that your transition to Eternal Life is as gentle as a soft breeze…May God Bless you and your beautiful family.

  22. Beth,
    I met you three years ago at the first die-in. I came for a friend of mine who lives in NC. I to at the time was a breast cancer survivor , I was “cured” . I found out March of this year that I’m stage 4. Beth because of you I know that we needed more . I use my illness like you to reach out and tell the truth about MBC . Thank you ! We will the many of us ,will continue your awesome work and hope we get a lasting treatment for all of us and maybe in 100 years or sooner have a CURE !

  23. Beth and her loving husband, and Kelli,
    I’m so sorry for you Beth that you are in Hospice . My sister in
    law was in Hospice years ago and got better and was able to leave for years. However having lung Cancer and with a collapsed lung too , a stint was put in her airway . That was about two months ago. Her tumor was growing a lot around her heart . She passed on 10-13-17.
    Beth I will be praying for you and all your family and friends .
    “We just never know ” as my 4 years old Granddaughter would say . You are such an inspiration to us all. I will miss you and your compassionate ways of reaching out to all of us . Loved your road trips with Kelli.:)
    May God be with you always.

  24. Love and peace to you, Beth, as you make this transition. To Beth’s husband, children, and parents: there are no words, but know that you have a lot of people wrapping their arms around you, even if from a distance. I’m so very sorry. xoxo
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  25. Such a beautiful woman with a life well lived, she made such a difference because of her intelligence and wherewithal to do so. Bless her and love her. Hubs – you will have support from family, friends and internet friends. Peace. Comfort. Grace. All that I wish for all of you now. Lord, have mercy.

  26. I only know of you through Paige. Through her, I know you are an amazing soul, a precious friend, and someone who has contributed much to the world. I wish you peace.

    Warmly,

    Michele

  27. All I can say is I’m sorry.. You deserve more , we deserve more , our family and friends deserve more. You have been amazing. You have done so much for us. I started following you a couple years ago after my first diagnosis with breast cancer and this year was diagnosed metastatic at 38 years old. Love to you and you family..

  28. I love you. I’ll miss you. You did life so well. So, so well. I really wish you didn’t have to go, but I know you do. Did I say I’ll mis you? I cant say it enough. Thank you. Thank you for everything. Every little thing. I will do my best with Metup to make you proud.

  29. You are so authentic and honest and beautiful. Thank you for letting me know you and your family. Much, much love to all of you.

  30. I love you my friend. You are irreplacable. Thank you for all you’ve done for MBC snd we wish you could stay but since you have to go- know we will never forget you.

  31. This is the post none of us ever wanted to read but knew some day would come. You were a force, Beth. An absolute force and you can be so proud of the legacy your children have of you. Your community will always keep your spirit alive and we will make you proud. So many of us are better people having met you and being in our lives. God knows I am. Until we meet again…. <3
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  32. You’ve lived a most dignified life. I want for you peace, comfort, and whatever else you want. I will never forget you.

  33. Oh Beth. You have and will continue to inspire me every day. Thank you for your voice, your strength and most of all your kindness. Thank you for speaking for all of us. We will continue to speak out for MBC patients. Love to you and all who love you. ❤️

  34. Dear The Hubs, The Boy, and The Girl; My heart aches as you know what is to come. I pray for peace today, tomorrow, for all he rest of her days. Then, I pray for love, comfort, and peace to embrace you each for the rest of your days. Live them boldly, proudly, like she’s watching…

    Dear Beth;
    I wish I could have known you sooner so I could have loved you longer. I’m sorry it is so near the end and that death with dignity is no longer a medical option. I am praying for your time to be pain free and comfortable. I pray for your own dignity to shine through every last breath. YOU ARE DIGNITY…and we will miss you and I love you.

  35. God bless you Beth and your husband and kids. Thank you so much for all you have done to advocate for MBC. We will never meet, but you have touched my heart. My love to you all.

  36. We met when we were both pregnant, and you were my due date buddy. I’ve known you for a while now and you have always been strength personified to me. I’m sending warmth and love to you and your family as you travel through this difficult time. You have been a tireless advocate and the world will not soon forget you Beth.

  37. My heart to your children who will miss their loving mom and your husband who without a doubt has been your closest friend. Peaceful journey, Beth. I will remember you always.

  38. I wish i would have known you longer. You are an amazing strong woman and i’ll never forget you. Wishing you no more pain.

  39. I don’t even know Beth, but I know the world will miss her. More importantly to me, a man, who again… I don’t know well… but who I admire, respect and love after a fashion… will miss her. I know loss… like this, but not at all like this.

    Thoughts, prayers and thanks go out for you Beth. You and your beloved family.

  40. BETH is DIGNITY. All 100% of you. Your legacy, your kids, your hubs, your work, your words. Everything. I have been so blessed to know you. Deep peace to you, my friend. Deep peace.

  41. Love you so much, Beth (and J). Thank you for everything you have done to move the needle forward. Please know that you have made a difference and that you will not be forgotten.

  42. You’re damn right about the death with dignity option. I hope we can make you proud by continuing your fight in whatever capacity we can. Love you, friend. Thank you for NY.

  43. Sending you so much love. I promise to never stop fighting for MBC patients, and to keep your loved ones in my heart and prayers always. Safe travels, Beth. We are so blessed to have had you on this planet.

  44. I am holding you both — and your lovely children — in the Light and pray for a gentle release. Holding you in my heart and prayers. xo

  45. Hugs! been thinking of you here in MA. We will carry on your legacy, thank you for all you have done to educate ppl! Truly had no idea about many if the things you shared. You have made a difference and we will continue to share your words! Hugs!

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