Carlos B. Sanders at our house after a family dinner.
Well, today was the first full day of spring! Happy spring to everyone. March has some good points! Tomorrow my Mom will be 72 years old. I can always remember how old she is because she is 20 years 2 months and 5 days older than me. Now, Pop's birthday is October 31, and I will never forget that lol but how old he is? I can not remember! Never have been able to remember that! I have no clue why. I can remember many birthdays, many other dates but I can not remember how old my dad is. I don't understand it!
March has difficult points for me too. Rick lost his battle with cancer in March. But three years ago, my father in law lost his battle with cancer. We had Nick in the ER after an injury March 2, 2008, he had been hurt working around the house. I was working that day. As Rick was leaving the ER with Nick, Carlos called. He was in a lot of pain and his breathing wasn't too good. He wanted to come to the ER. Well, Rick was tired from being there all day already so he called his sister Beverly. She went to Authur Road and brought him to the ER. They did a CT scan on his chest and discovered a tumor. We really knew about the tumor from a few years earlier from a CT scan at the VA but it had never changed and I'd just had him to the VA in January. Anyway, the ER doctor did a CT of his chest and the tumor had grown significantly. They admitted him. He stayed in the hospital several days and went home. He had only been home 2 or 3 days when he needed to go back to the hospital. He was there several days again, and we took turns staying with him. On Thursday evening, I stayed. He changed dramatically overnight. He did not want surgery. He did not want radiation or chemo. By morning a man that just the day before could walk alone needed 2 person assist just to walk a few steps to the bathroom! Friday morning we had a "change of the guard" but I lingered around. I wanted to see Dr. Kaul when he rounded. Carlos wanted to go home. We all talked about it and all agreed we would take turns and stay with him. We set the wheels in motion and got him home by Friday evening. That was March 21. Melinda and Beverly stayed with him. He had visitors all day Saturday and was able to talk with his sisters Inez and Delta. They even had a little coffee. Hospice had been consulted, he had adequate pain control finally and had rested Friday night. He fell asleep sitting on the side of the bed. My turn came about 4pm. The girls went home. About seven pm, his breathing changed. Rick was in Owensboro for a meeting he needed to be at, and was supposed to come home Sunday. Nick arrived. We repositioned Carlos. He would not wake up. About seven pm his breathing changed. I called Rick. I told him he needed to get home asap, that his dad was not doing well. Then I called the girls. I think they thought I was over reacting at first. Rick told me he was so glad he listened and came on home. He thought I was being an over cautious nurse. Thirty years as a nurse said I wasn't. The nurse in me saw changes that indicated he would not live much longer. The good thing is that everyone who wanted to be there was. His children, grandchildren and in-laws were there when the last breath left his body. It was a very peaceful end. And the girls cried. And Rick cried. And the grandchildren cried. I cried. The girls husbands were there for them.
Carlos loved that Rick and I were in the Farmers Market at Brownsville. He would come sit with us some. He loved to come to see Rick's garden. He would never say he liked it, but you could tell he did. It wasn't Carlos to compliment too much. That was just not him. But I think - no I know - he loved his family. And I know we all loved him.
I love y'all.
To be continued............