How does one account for the worst month in one’s life?
July 4th was W’s birthday! In the past, our family celebrated it together with a barbeque followed by fireworks in the front yard. This year- no fireworks! We didn’t have the heart to have them without “DAD”. W was still in the hospital and fortunately was moved from ICU to a room facing a west window on the 6th floor which was the Bone Marrow Floor. He was still having some breathing issues but not serous enough to stay in ICU.
After our family barbeque at home, we visited W, bringing him balloons and gifts. The nurses had earlier given him a small birthday cake but he was unable to eat it due to nausea. We spent an hour celebrating with him. He was getting concentrated oxygen but I think he enjoyed it. We were unable to stay to see fireworks with him but he told us the nurses turned his bed facing the window so he could see the aerial fireworks over
A week after, he had pneumonia and a virus in the blood which was treated aggressively with antibiotics. W tried hard to get better, wanting to do everything possible to return home. He tried to keep up his strength up with physical therapy but constantly battled drops in his blood pressure. He shared with me that on a good day, the nurses talked him into getting masked and covered to be allowed to walk outside his room in the hall. This was the first time he was able to leave his room in 3 months. It helped him feel like he was just a little closer to going home.
Over the next few weeks his condition worsened to the point of returning to ICU. After another bronchoscopy, the doctors informed us that the bacteria in his lungs was resistant to all the antibiotics and his new stem cells were not strong enough to fight the infection-there was nothing else that could be done. Walter passed into his heavenly home with his family surrounding him July 27, 2010 at sunset. I now have the memories of 33 years of a loving marriage to cherish. .