Getting real

Julie and I knew death was a possibility back in 2007 when Julie first found the lump.  We knew it was a certainty in March, when we learned the cancer had metastasized.  We knew it was going to be sooner rather than later when Julie and Dr. M decided to end chemotherapy in August.  On 9/8 I asked the hospice nurse for her guess as to Julie’s likely lifespan, and she guessed 2-6 weeks.  Today I asked for an update on that guess, and she now guesses 2-3 weeks.  I knew that already, but for some reason hearing it from her made it real.  It’s been a hard, sad, teary afternoon.  I knew this would get tougher the closer we got, and it is.  The only thing that makes it any easier is all the support we’ve been getting from friends and family — and we’ve got that in spades.  Thank you all for caring.

On a more practical note, one of the ways I’ll get the word out when Julie passes is via this blog.  If you haven’t already done so, you may want to use the email subscription feature in the right sidebar.  By subscribing, you’ll receive copies of each new post to your e-mail in-box as I write them, rather than you having to visit the blog regularly.

Julie sleeps most of the time now, either due to the disease or the medications.  The pain started ticking up a bit last week, but we were well below our medication dosage limits so we turned them up a notch and now she’s staying pretty comfortable.  When she’s awake, popsicles have been popular for quite a while, and we were visited by a sudden craving for vietnamese noodle soup last week.  Otherwise, it’s pretty quiet at the moment.

Thanks to all of you for being so supportive. Please know that we think of you, too.

Love to all,


10 Responses to “Getting real”

  1. 1 Mary Illige
    September 23, 2010 at 8:35 am

    My prayers are for both of you. With love, Mary

  2. 2 margaret Stonich
    September 23, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Thanks so much for the update. Don’t know what to say to provide any comfort. Glad that Julie is staying comfortable as I know she has an aversion to pain meds. You are both such wonderful people this must seem impossible to have to deal with. Does Robin have any idea what is going on? I know that dogs are so sensitive. Just wondered how Robin is dealing with all of this. I hope she is providing some comfort to Julie. I know my dogs are such wonderful little souls to have around when I am sick.

    • September 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm

      I don’t know if Robin or the cats understand. He sleeps near her bed a lot, but that’s normal. He wants to visit with her when she’s awake, so I think he misses interacting with her more. I expect he’ll pine for her after she’s gone. He and I will take care of each other. -B.

  3. 4 Kelly Martin
    September 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Love & prayers to you both. Thanks for the updates, we know this must be hard to do. We are thinking of you everyday, and hoping Julie can stay comfortable. With love, Justin, Kelly & Shawn

  4. 5 Kari Misegades
    September 24, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Hi Brian
    I am one of the many ladies from Julie’s support group (Making Today Count) that admire and appreciate and care for Julie. We miss her presence and so appreciate you letting us know about Julie’s condition. Our hearts go out to you, Julie and your friends and family at this sweet tho very difficult time. I am grateful to learn of all the love and support surrounding you both! Know that she is thought of often.
    love & light,
    Kari Misegades

  5. 6 Kathy Greenlaw-Stuff
    September 24, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I was just recently informed of Julie’s current condition. Please know you both are in my thoughts and prayers.
    You both inspire and humble me.
    Much love,
    (cousin) Kathy

  6. 7 Linda Rose Bomhold
    September 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Brian, I’m another lady from Making Today Count, the support group for metastatic cancer that Julie belongs to. We love her and miss her. She is such a delight and I feel privileged to know her. We appreciate you also and especially the effort it takes to keep everyone informed on this blog, while caring for Julie. There are no words that can convey how we all feel at this difficult time. We are sending you our support, love, prayers, thoughts, caring, concern, and strength. Sincerely, Linda Rose

  7. 8 Lynnette
    September 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Was just thinking about the two of you and wanted to send my love your way. You are doing an awesome job of being there for Julie, Brian. Virtual hugs to both of you!

  8. 9 Mariel
    September 27, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    I met Julie during my first support group, and quickly looked to her as a strong and focused lady who gave me hope of what this could be. Brian, I remember us going out to Mexican food and hearing about your love story and once again was inspired. I ran into Julie a few months ago during a trip to Dr. M’s office and was surprised to see her there, once again with a bald head and still looking like the pillar of strength. I had no idea she was back in treatment until then as I got lost in the whole cancer world myself. What I know is that your love has carried her through this storm, and your support has reached everyone around you both. I was the lucky recipient of your visit to the hospital when I had my mastectomy, and remember thinking how amazing you were for showing up for even Julie’s friends. I am sad to see the path this disease has taken you and Julie on and continue to be inspired by an incredible and unstoppable love you have for one another and those around you. Thank you for being there for me, those who read this blog and for Julie… Much love to you both, Sheri

  9. 10 Kristin
    October 1, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    You are both on our hearts. Brian, you have done an amazing job caring for your wife. We’ve been praying through this whole process, but know it must be especially difficult as the end draws near. We will continue to lift you up as you grieve and pray for peace in the coming weeks.

    Much love,
    Bill, Kristin and Baby William

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