Monday, December 5, 2011

Building community (day 40)

Good evening, from our home in Fairfax.

Today has felt resolute and quiet to me, and that's what I see in Nancy as well. On one level, we are all preparing for a meeting tomorrow afternoon with representatives from all the specialized medical teams. Jim and Janet and Nancy and I, with her oncologist, a neurosurgeon, the ICCU attending, a nurse practitioner, an amazing social worker, and probably a handful of others. On another level, it seems like we are all turning towards each other, to deal with all of this.

Medically, today was pretty uneventful, with no changes. Nancy was breathing on her own through the whole day, and started feeling very anxious and a bit short of breath around 8, when she switched back to assisted breathing. She immediately started relaxing, and was dozing within a quarter hour. I was at the hospital at her request this morning at 8, and back after work at 6pm. Much of what I do there is tend to small comforts for her, rub her shoulders, comb her hair, etc. Sometimes I read your notes to her.

It's been a day of community on many levels. Today I got about 50 emails, which I'm still absorbing. Nancy got a half-dozen visitors, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Janet is staying with her in her room tonight, to help ease her anxiety when she's alone. Jim and Kathy were there this evening, and Jim and I went out to hunt down an appliance light bulb at 9pm. Two guys on an unlikely quest in a Mini Cooper. Saturday, Jim had brought a family Christmas decoration -- a small ceramic tree with colored lights -- to adorn her room, and it was a cheerful presence until the bulb burned out. Now it's back in action. Whatever Nancy Wants, Nancy Gets :-)

My gut sense is that tomorrow's meeting is going to shift things in some way, but I don't know how. Today, we all agree, we are all holding the intention that she will overcome this infection.


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