Squires Update 

April 24, 2006

Hello all- Sorry about the delay. Well yesterday Dad had a lot of visitors. My cousins (Lisa, Shelia, their Mom and two little ones plus my sister, her boyfriend, another friend of Dad and Mom were all there at the same time UGH!) came ot see him with two of the third cousins (my Dads' two neices) and stayed to visit for a little while. That of course wore Dad out but he was ok. He took a nap and rested as soon as they left. He did not sleep well the night before but had an uneventful nap after the visit. There was a meeting in his room last night and it went well. The subject for the last two nights has been Language of the Heart and how Dad always uses that type of language with everyone and how much we all see it and love him for it. He wanted to be woke up for this meeting becaue the night before we let him sleep so he was up and alert to what was going on. My sister has been able to visit with him and it has been going fine. She adn her boyfriend are returning to KS this evening but I will remain for a time. Chris' boyfirend is an Ex-Marine adn got Dad a plant then put a Marine sticker on it. Chris brought him a foam bullet shooting gun so he could shoot the sticker on the plant. Dad seemed to really enjoy doing that. You know Dad any toy and easily amused! =) He looked good today and alert. Last night went ok. Aunt Roberta (Moms sister) came in to stay with us for a little while and it has been nice having her here. Sandy is looking at returning to CA in the next few days. But she has been of great help to us all and we are eternally grateful for her help and love. Aunt Roberta is taking care of us grandly. She makes the best vegatarian meals!! All is going as the Lord has it planned and we are just going with each day grateful for another 24 hours. We are doing ok here. Please keep those prayers coming and we feel all that.
God Bless
Connie and family

April 21, 2006

Good Evening All- Connie here and I just wanted to give you the daily update.
Dad is in good spirits. He is able to keep down the 10 cc per hour of nutrition they are putting in through his tube. They increased his pain medication by 25 mg now (up to 75 mg) for his patch that he wears along with the Morphine he gets twice a day for pain. He is in no pain. Saw him this morningn and his color looked as well as could be expected. He played a bit with my son Richard as best he could which he seemed to really enjoy doing and was ever watchful out his window when he saw Richard walking the dog and making sure he was careful. Dad is always looking out for others no matter what. He saw there was a possible problem due to a guy trimming a tree outside his window and Richard was walking back and forth past the guy. Dad told me to get Richard out of there but then said never mind he woudl be safe. It was touching to see him watching and concerned as always about others even now. He had 5 visitors today. Two friends taht I can not remeber their names but friends non the less. and my sister, with her ex- Marine boyfiend, Rod, and another friend of hers. They were just shooting the bull back and forth Army to Marine, laughing and having a nice visit. I called and heard laughter so I know it was a nice visit for him. He got wore out though and went to sleep after they left I am told. He sleeps peaceful with little to no pain or discomfort thanks to those wonderful people at Hospice. I am so grateful to them. Moms' sister Roberta will be here tomorrow and Chris is here over the weekend. Sandy and I are here as long as we are needed so I will be able to update regularly to keep all informed. So, over all today was a good day for Dad. When Mom came home she said he looked wore out but that he was sleeping when seh left. I am grateful for this twenty four hours that I was given with my Dad and look forward to another if that is the Lords will. Keep those prayers and positive vibes coming we feel them here.
God Bless --
Connie and family

April 20, 2006

Hello everyone- this is Connie. I got into Tacoma on Tuesday night adn went to see Daddy on Wensday. As you all can imagine it is really hard to see him. However, that aside he looks ok. He seems fragile and is slow moving. He is up and out of bed sitting in a recliner in his room. There is a couch for Mom to lay on and the chair is next to it. I need to share what I was blessed in seeing yesterday becasue it was a gift I think from God that I see this.
Dad asked if I was ok and I said yes. He said I should be because he was ok with all of htis and I told him that was the ONLY reason I was ok.
He did not have a good night Wen he is unable to hold down anything and the medication they are giving for the CMV makes him sick so he can not have that until they get the nausea from everything else under control. He is getting more tired each day and I can see that. He is moving around but slowly and he has lost some weight. His has ok coloring and his eyes are not the bright they once were but a bit fuzzy. My son RIchard was able to meet Dad for the first time yesterday and he went over gave Dad a hug and kiss and I said "I love you Papa." Dad had never heard those words from my son before because this was the first time they met and I thank God they did meet. Anyway, Dad tolerated that visit well but he was very tired the rest of the day. As you know Sandy and Terry were here. Terry went back yesterday but Sandy is here to support the family, Mom's sister, Roberta, is coming in Saturday adn my sister will be in tomorrow.
Dad is in NO pain and is being kept comfortable as much as possible. The Hospica House is wonderful. Quiet, peaceful, and they provide a little area foro the family to sit in, cook, or what eber along with coffee and tea. The cook there is great and makes the best soup. The nursing staff is just awesome. Mom is able to spend time with Dad and not have to worry about anything but being with the love of her life and just...being there sitting quietly next to him. Dad is hanging in there but to be honest everyone...the prognosis is the same and soon I believe he will be going home to our Heavenly Fathers' house. Well, yesterday is come and gone and we are all staying in the 24 hour box so today is another 24 hours and at times we are in a one hour box, or a minute.
I am printing everythin from this blog to keep in a scrap book for future viewing.
God bless everyone and thnak you for your loving support. I willupdate tonight or first thing in the morning.

April 17th, 2006

Hi everyone. Terry here again.

Wouldn’t you know that Rick would make a liar out of me? Yesterday it seemed, the nursing staff agreed, and I posted to the blog that Rick wasn’t going to be moved to the hospice facility for a few days, at least. But what a difference a day makes! You wouldn’t have thought that the guy we saw today with a smile and a joke was the same guy we left last night not looking or feeling so good.

Rick responded very well to the pre-emptive anti-nausea program and has gained a good deal of strength with a day and night of good sleep. So the doctors decided he had stabilized sufficiently and made the call to move him to the Franciscan Hospice. Regardless of how well Rick has felt his treatment has been at Madigan, he was happy to be getting out of the hospital.

The hospice facility is very comfortable, the staff is upbeat, caring, and dignified. I didn’t know what to expect from a hospice facility, but Sandy and I were very surprised at how comfortable the staff has made the transition feel for everyone involved. Rick and Sharon met with the in-take staff and nurses who took their time explaining everything and answering their questions. Rick has a very nice private room with space for visitors and for Sharon to stay if she wishes. He also has a nice view of the garden. He was happy to hear that they also have a massage therapist on staff. The entire experience was as pleasant and welcoming as can be expected, given the situation.

Besides the move, Rick seemed to be having a good day all around. He was up and walking on his own - the nurses were surprised to see the “new guy” strolling down the hall. For a time he was unhooked from the feeding tube and even took off the oxygen tube while he explored his new digs. After not having solid food for quite a while he felt good enough to take a taste or two of Sharon’s bean soup, a few swigs of her Coke, and was about to send me out for a Subway sandwich. But Sharon wouldn’t hear of it, not after all the trouble he’s had keeping nourishment down and the pain he has suffered due to the damage to his trachea.

We spent a good portion of the afternoon listening to Rick’s anecdotes - one about the doctor who was *uncomfortable* giving him a day pass to play golf between chemo treatments, and the one about his undergraduate professor who needed some friendly persuasion to give Rick a better grade so that he could get into grad school. If you haven’t heard these two, no matter, I am sure you have your own memories of Rick’s stories, his animated language, sharing his experience, strength and hope, and making us all laugh.

Family is rallying. Connie is coming in tomorrow night, Christina later in the week, and Roberta next Monday. Larry stops in daily. Friends are calling day and night. The one thing Sharon and Rick do not seem to feel is alone.

The mailing address for Rick is:

Franciscan Hospice
2901 Bridgeport Way West
University Place, WA 98466

That's all for now. Oh, and Sharon recovered her purse. It hadn’t been stolen, she accidentally left it downstairs at the hospital when she went for coffee. When she retraced her steps to try and find it, the area she had been in was closed and locked up. It being a weekend, nobody was manning the lost-and-found until this morning. One less thing to worry about...

April 16th, 2006

Hi everyone. Terry Ladd here. Sandy and I drove up from San Francisco a few days ago to support Sharon and Rick however we can. Not a lot has changed since Connie’s last post, but Sharon has asked me to update the blog.

Rick is not doing as well as we all would have hoped. The radiation has reduced the size of the largest tumor, but other tumors have shown up and it has spread to his liver. He had a blood transfusion a couple of days ago that gave him some energy for a short while.

The problem for the last few days has been that he can't seem to keep much nourishment down. He is being fed through a tube, but has been getting nauseous, causing him great discomfort and further reducing his limited energy. The doctors have changed the regiment for the anti-nausea medicine from “when needed” to every six hours in an effort to pre-empt the nausea. We’re all hoping that works.

The plan has been to move Rick to a hospice facility, but that is predicated on him being stabilized, meaning not nauseous and throwing up. In the mean time he is sleeping a lot and taking pain medication. The earliest that he might be moved, if at all, would be Tuesday or Wednesday, but possibly not until later in the week or not at all.

When we arrived at the hospital yesterday he was sitting up and we had a nice chat - the same ol' Rick with the jokes and wit. Nancy and Rick Sherman even bought him a pop gun he is to use to “keep the nurses in line.” Rick thought that was just great. And the look on Rick’s face when he was told his brother Larry had brought him “flowers” was priceless.

Rick said the doctor told him that he “didn’t have many tricks left in the bag.” When we talked about how he felt about that he said he isn’t scared for himself and is coming to accept the situation. Rick would never admit it - “quit fighting” is not in his vocabulary - but he knows the prognosis and he is tired and worn out from a three week fight against pneumonia and a virus, receiving radiation and chemo, etc.

Sharon wanted to ask that if you have a fond memory or two of Rick to please write ‘em down and send them to squiresrichard@hotmail.com so that they might be shared at a future memorial service and/or on this blog.

Please keep Rick and Sharon and the rest of the family in your thoughts and prayers.

April 15, 2006

Hello everyone- I spoke with my mother this morning and I have some more information. It has been determined that both of my Dads lungs are in bad shape due to the radiaiton treatment. To recap he did 27 consecetive radiaiton treatments becasue it got the tumor and did its job attacking it; however, it did a JOB on his lungs. Unfortunately, the cancer metastizied to his liver and it is now in an aggresive state. He has been given approximately 2-4 weeks; however, the doctor said that if he regains his strength and is able to be ambulatory for half the day out of bed that they are willing to do another treatmetn of Chemotherapy. As you know my father never wants to burden anyone least of all his family so at first he requested a nursing home. But Mom let him know that was not what she wanted and that seh of course wanted to be near the man she loves with all her heart. So, with the help of the wonderful social workers at Madigan it has been decided that Dad will be receiving Inpatient Hospice care. He will be going to the Fransican Hospice House either Sunday or Monday at the latest where he will remain for pain management as well as have his comfort issues met. Going home was not a practical thing due to my Dad is a big guy and has not only pain managemnet issues but physical needs that can not be met at home. There is a room next to his that Mom will be able to stay in so that they can be together. Family and friends will be able to come and visit and Dad will be able to get the rest adn care he needs and Mom will not have to worry about those issues but be able to just be with Dad and enjoy each others company. There are a number of factors that are causing his recuperation to be slowed. The pneumonia (which is clearing up slowly), teh CMV (virus), his lungs being damaged from the radiation along with the pneumonia, and not to mention that cancer in his liver agressively attacking. Dad has akangaroo drip with condtinuous feeding through his PEG tube but he had some minor vomitting from that but is stable now. I called the hospital this morning to inquire about him and they told me that last night he received 2 units of blood due to his enemia and he tolerated that procedure well. and that he slept well through teh night comfortably wiht no problems. At this point the main issues are pain management and comfort. I talked to Mom this mornign and would you not know it things happen all at once. Last night she and my Uncle Larry went to the hospital cafeteria for coffee and she left her pursre in Dads room which is right across from teh nurses station, and someone stole it! Can you believe it? So today she will be getting a new drivers licese and all but her phone book was in the purse as she carrys it everywhere with her as well as all the other important thigns.. That is all the news for now and I willupdate when I have more new. Keep those prayers and good thoughts coming.
Love adn Blessing to all- Connie and family

April 14, 2006

Hello everyone, Thank you for your emails and kind words regarding my father and the update of this blog. I am not sure where to begin. We all know Dad has been battling this thing for a long time and things just happen. It is NOT GOD or HP who does this it is just something that happens. To be angry with Him is wrong since He is not a God of pain and hurt but of love and compassion. Last night I spoke with my mother and she told me that Dad was getting sick to his stomach when he ate (via the feeding tube) again. So, they took him down to get some X-rays to see what was going on. Well, rememeber those lesions that were on his liver and then went away? Well, the cancer has gone to his liver. It metastasized from his lung to there and he does not look good. Mom called us to come home to see Dad. His prognosis is poor due to this recent event and they have given him 2 to 4 weeks (at this time) left to bless our lives. It pains me ever so much to write this article. He has touched all of our lives and loved us all so unconditionally that the thought of this man not being there is very painful. But, I do know the Lord is good and loving. HE is one who will guide us all through these times of sadness with HIS unconditional love. Dad woudl want all of us to continue with life and doing what we do in them. They both would. I will be returning home this week with my son for four days and then my sister will go for a few days . He can only handle commotion for four days and we do not want to wear him out. I know you are shocked and that you may think can't the doctors do something but unfortunately, my understandig is that there is nothing to do for this now but let the Lord do HIS WILL and NOT MINE! (I capatalize for emphasis) My father has given all he has to not letting this get to him and keeping a positive attitude but now is the time for us to do this same thing. If is possible he could bounce back from this but ....well only our Heavenly Father knows what is next and He will do what He feels is best for Dad. He is still in the hospital and should be home on Monday. Hospice is coming in to help care for him. He is on oxyen permentately due to the damage to his lung from the radiation and he has everything he needs to care for him. His oncologist, Dr. McQUen has been awesome. He has been very good to Dad and Mom and given it everything he has to help Dad. Mom is holding up but you can imagine what this can do to soem one who is taking care of the love of her life. There are no words now to express how much we all love this man. In one way or another he has saved all our lives and been a beacon of hope and love to us all. This is the day tha t the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad.....why? Because we have been so blessed with a man that no one can ever replace and who has helped us all in one fashion or another by not just words but his living example of how to live llife with hope, grace and diginity. I am checking my emails daily so please send them to my box and I will print them all when I get to Mom and Dads' house this week for Mom as well as the ones on her email account. We are so grateful for all your loving support. Remeber he can jump back from this and be with us a lot longer and that only the Lord knows so keep those positive "vibes" coming and all those loving prayers. I can feel them and so can my Mom and Dad.
Blessings to all of you and I will write more when I have more news.

April 12, 2006

Hello all, I am sorry this is so late in updating. As I am sure some of you realized we could not get into the blog lately. Computer coffee break. So, here is the update. A feeding tube has been put into place to allow his esphogus to heal. Due to the mass amount of radiation a lot of damage was done . He went to see the ENT people about his vocal cord not working well and they said they can do a procedure to help him with that. His osteoperosis is taking a toll on him as well and he is shrinking soem what but is being treated for that with Phosemax and calcium medication.
On 4/9/06 Dad has been diagnosed with a rare virus called CMV from the herpes family. He is on medication for that and to top it all off he got pneumonia. He is taking heavy duty penicillin for both of these and is responding well to this treatment. He is able to take one of his medicines with water and no morphine with no pain. Yeah! He is being fed with his tube and that is going well. Of course he is very tired from tests adn treatments but he is holding up well. On Monday 0/10/06 he was diagnosed with permenate lung damage due to the radiation treatment so it has been decided he will use an oxygen tank from now on to assist him in breathing. He is coughing up no sputum adn is on IV antibiotics still for his pnuemonia and the virus. His espohogus is slowly clearing up and he is still tolerating the feeding tube well. His blood pressure on that day was 120/79 and his O2 level was 97% with 3 liters of oxygen. That is good on both counts. He is still taking demacacycline orally but on this day it was with morphine. The vocal procedure was put off until Tuesday so he could rest a little more. He has a great doctor, Dr. Cooper, who is working closely wiht Mom and is she is nto comfortable with something then it does not happen and he explains everything to her until she understands. I am grateful for that.
Now, I talked to Mom last night, April 11, 2006 and here goes the newest update. Dad is on O2 for good at this time due to his lung damage from the radiation treatment.; the virus and pneumonia are getting more under control; he needed morphine wiht his medication and he is sleeping alot. Now you all know how my Dad is if someone is talking about him with him sitting there and not to him or maybe you don't. Anyway, those ENT turkeys decided they wanted to discuss the procedure while they were doing it to him. He only had teh area numbed so was awake for the entire thing. When it was done he let them no in NO uncertani terms that was not a good thing adn went up one side of them and down the other. He heard everything! I am sure they will not make that mistake again. =) He is ambulatory with 97% oxygen and his vitals are good and stable. There is no news of the prognosis from the vocal procedure but he tolerated it well and is now sleeping. But Dad heals when he sleeps is what Mom says so sleep is good for him right now.I will right more later.
God Bless... Connie

April 7, 2006

Hello all- Well this week is going ok for Dad and Mom . Dad had a scope done this week to see what the issue is with his esophagus. Mom says that went well and there is no damage to that area it is just raw from the radiation treatment. He is ambulating with oxygen due to his saturation point is not where it is suppose to be. They are looking at sending him home with the oxygen tank perhaps this weekend but no definite date yet. This is not a permenate thing just until his oxygen saturation level get to where it is suppose to be. He had a feeding tube inserted since it is so painful for him to swallow anything and Mom says he tolerated that quite well. That to is only until his esophagus heals up. Mom says he is looking good but he is ready to go home. They determined that his esophagus is just really irritated and raw from the radiationtreatment and also the scope which is to be expected but they have no definite time frame for how long this irritation will last. Mom says that Dad sounds really horse but in good spirits, joking with the staff the other day. Imagine that =) Well that is the latest for this week. Keep those prayers and positive "vibes" coming they are working!
God Bless

April 1, 2006

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to add a little note from Sharon. Rick's cell phone is not working since he put it in the washing machine a couple of months ago. The plan is to get another phone but we'll see. Shortly after Rick's phone went out of service, Sharon dropped her phone in a cup of tea......(I know what you're thinking,,,,,,it must have been a BIG cup of tea). So in short they do not currently have a cell phone so please update the blog. If you have any questions, you can email me at nsherman@earthlink.net. Thanks, Nancy

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