Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dear Joey,

Dear Joey,

It's been 2 years this week, since you were diagnosed with bone cancer. I remember waiting in the hospital for you to come out of recovery. We were in California Naval hospital, with Miki and dad. What a whirlwind of two weeks. Testing, doctors appointments and arranging for chemo. I can see your expressions as you try to understand what is happening and why.

You hardly ever complained about your pain, which I knew you had a considerable amount. Talking to the doctors during the first few weeks, what a great outlook they had for you. Your tumor was about the size of an apricot, on you pelvic bone. I remember leaving California knowing you were going to start treatments. I wanted to be there for you, I know that you had your wife there. As a mom i desperately wanted to be with you. Talking to you daily on the phone wasn't enough for me. I came back after you lost all your hair, you still were a cutie.

Staying with you after Miki went back to California was hard for me. It was I guess you could say bittersweet. I was mad as hell at Miki for leaving you when you were sick. You were fine with it, and now I understand why. Your love for Miki was great, she was and still is the love of your life, and I KNOW that she feels the same way.

Chemo was hard on you, you were sick often. But, i remember the whirlpool. It made the pain tolerable and you would sit and be able to relax for awhile. Go back again for more chemo, getting sick all over again. The talk of them removing you leg, hemi-pelvictomy. You wouldn't hear of it. The second spot appeared on you sacrum, very small but still there none the less.

The month of August was here and you only had 2 more chemo treatments left. You needed to be closer to home. I needed help taking care of you (I never wanted to admit that). Home and back and forth to Bethesda naval hospital, not very fond of that place. We went to Walter Reed Army hospital after your chemo was done. We needed to talk to the surgeon and find out what was the best treatment for you. I can only say how stunned i was when the doctor so callously informed us that there wasn't anything he could do for you. What the fuck kind of doctor says that then leaves the room. The only good thing that bastard did for us was to refer us to Johns Hopkins.

Again more doctors, but at least they had a plan. A trial treatment that might work, MIGHT WORK! A bone scan revealed additional tumors in the breast bone, only a spot. Osteosarcoma is a bitch to treat, especially where you had it. Can't remove the tumor because of the pelvic bone, possible to remove the pelvic bone and replace it with a cadavers bone. That turned out not to be an option because of the tumor on the sacrum.

Your in so much pain now, I'm dying inside to try and help. Back in the hospital again, pain management help. Operation to install a pain pump that looks like a hockey puck, high doses of meds for the pain. In and out of the hospitals and only once did you ever ask why me, I always try to help everyone, i try to be good. We have cried together many times, me, you and dad. It was hard to keep it together on occasions.

Your last MRI which they had to put you out for was not good. Additional tumors the doctors came back to say, 11 more throughout you body. My heart dropped, the size of the original tumor multiplied dramatically. It was huge, you are now bedridden. In constant pain trying hard not to show it. We now have 2 pain pumps going at the same time, nurses in and out, blood work being done weekly. I'm not even going to comment on the time you had to much calcium in your blood and the loss of memory.

Several platelet transfusions, New Years eve was the worst. Mid way through January back at the hospital again. Your left lung was collapsed, filled with tumors. The doctors didn't want me to do any thing at that point. I needed you to be able to see you wife and kids one last time. You rallied for such a short time. I needed to bring you home for your sake and mine. Yes, I made the decision not for you to have another surgery which you might not have made it through. No, I didn't ask anyone elses opinion on rather or not it was the right decision. It was mine alone, right or wrong. You had the last two weeks with your wife and kids, so i believe that I made the right decision.

You passed quietly, as we sat around your bedside holding your hand. I love you so much and miss you. You are never far from my heart, mind or soul. Hopefully this letter finds you free of pain. I know that you are watching over you beautiful children and your wife. Dad and I talk to you often, hopefully you can hear us. Your brother also has you on his mind, you need to give him a kick in the ass though.
I know that i have left out alot of things that you went through in this letter, I just touched on some of the more important things.

May you be watched over and be pain free in your after life. Say hi to Pop-Pop and both Grandma's, Michael and Mike. No cheating in poker with Michael. When I sit outside and have a cigarette I'm having one with you.

Hope the mail service there is good........
Love and kisses my son

1 comment:

Catutes said...

You're the best Mom.