I am still unable to put into words how we are feeling, but some have asked that the video be posted for those who are not on Facebook, so here it is. I will never remove it, so feel free to link to it.
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Our precious Rich passed from this earth to Heaven around 7:00 last night. His battle was a tough one and he fought all he could.
As you can imagine, we are completly consumed with grief right now, but we are thankful that he is no longer in pain.
Thank you for all of the outpouring of love that we have received. We love you all and appreciate your help through this time. We also want to say that we are praying for you as well, all of Rich’s friends and family that love him so very dearly. We are sorry for your loss as well. He touched many more people than he ever could have imagined.
I will post again once the arrangements are made. Thank you all! Comfort each other and above all love each other deeply.
This post is a tough one, but for those who have not yet heard, Rich has declined any further treatments regarding his cancer.
As much as it pains me to write that, to actually put it out there, this was his decision and his alone to make. The chances of the radiation/chemo saving his life are pretty much slim to none and he doesn’t want to go through the pain and agony that the treatments would bring. As Rich put it “he is done”. He is done with the pain, the loss of dignity, everything. And now that he has made that choice, he seems to be very content. He is now in control, not the doctors or anyone else and he is comfortable with that. He has gotten so weak and incredibly thin and he just doesn’t want to go through any more pain.
It has been amazing to look back at the last year and see how God was preparing Rich for this. Long before he fell ill, he struck up a friendship with Pastor Jim. Jim loves Rich unconditionally, just as Christ does and that was exactly what Rich needed. Then we started a Home Bible Fellowship that Pastor Jim leads here at the house, along with his wife Cheryl, and Rich was a part of that. He started reading his Bible and trusting Christ and he and Gary have been studying the Bible here at home. It is of great comfort to Rich, and to us, to know that Jesus is going to take his hand and lead him through this into his forever home with his heavenly Father, with no more sorrow, no more pain.
Rich is at the Good Shepherd, room 152. Please pray for peace and comfort. Thank you all for your support of Rich and his decision.
Rich came home from Columbus yesterday, but within a few hours, we could not hardly wake him up. We called the emergency squad and his oxygen level was at 55. To put that in perspective, normal is 95 to 100. If it drops into the 80s, you need to go to the emergency room. They took him to Samaritan ICU and even with oxygen, the levels wouldn’t rise above the 70s, so they gave him a drug to reverse the effects of the morphine. That then sent him into a paranoid state. Needless to say, yesterday was a horrible day.
Today, Gary took him from Samaritan Hospital to see the doctor in Wooster for a consultation and then brought him home to talk about his options. As much as it breaks our hearts, at this point we cannot give him the kind of care he needs here at home. The only available nursing facility was Good Shepherd, so we took him there.
They let him take his playstation and a small t.v., so that made him happy. Once he saw his room and that it wasn’t as scary as a hospital room, he seemed comfortable. He will go back to Wooster tomorrow in hopes of getting the mask fitting done, then they will have a trial run on Friday and begin the chemo and radiation on Monday.
Please pray for Richie…his room number is 152. Thanks all. We are trusting God.
Gary took Rich today to get ready the masking done for the radiation, but he was so sick and in so much pain that they were unable to do anything. Gary then took him to Ashland’s Samaritan Hospital. They gave him an iv and pain shots (which didn’t help). His white cell count is off, potassium low and he’s dehydrated among other things. Ashland then transported him back to The James in Columbus.
Gary is now in Columbus with Rich. They have got to get this pain under control before they can begin any radiation or chemo. He is at the highest level on the pain patch that he can have at home and the Roxicet is making him sick.
Please pray for Rich, please pray, pray, pray. The cancer has started growing again…to what extent we are unsure, but I imagine that they will be running scans on him now that he is in the hospital.
Thank you! I’ll update when I know anything more.
What a crazy week this has been!
Rich was scheduled for some dental work. They won’t start radiation without the dental work being complete. They wouldn’t start the dental work without payment up front or Medicaid. So, we applied and got a temporary id number. Sounds good, right? Well, the dentist would not accept the temporary number and although God had blessed us with about half of the money, we were really, really in a panic. We scrambled around and Gary finally just started calling dentists locally and begging. He finally found one that would listen and treat Rich without payment up front – trusting that the temporary Medicaid number means that he will be accepted soon.
So, tomorrow he has a consultation with a local dentist and will soon have this dental work complete, so they can start the radiation/chemo.
Please continue to pray. Rich is still in pain and very thin. He’s so tired of it all and just wants to feel better. It’s got to be incredibly hard to keep fighting when you feel so terrible all of the time. Thank you for your support and love. It is appreciated!
Rich’s neck graft was coming apart somewhat at the bottom. It wasn’t bleeding, but it just looked like it was separating, so we took some pictures and emailed them to the doctors in Columbus. They responded with a powerpoint presentation using one of the pictures and detailed instructions on how to pack and care for it. We were fearful that he would have to go back to Columbus, but thanks to technology, he didn’t have to do that. Yeah!
The radiation treatments are scheduled to begin the 28th and he will have them in Wooster, along with the weekly chemo. (not in Ashland as we originally thought). They are also only going to give the radiation treatments Monday through Friday and he will have the weekends off to rest up – Yeah!
Everything else is pretty much the same – still experiencing pain, but he is so strong and handling it. Keep praying for patience and healing! Thanks!!