Advanced Prostate Cancer
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Paul

Dear everyone.

Paul passed away very peacefully at St. Luke's Hospital in Dublin at ten minutes past eight on Tuesday evening.

I am so so so absolutely heart-broken. It is a tremendous loss. I have lost the person who was my soulmate, my best friend, my companion through the past eight years of my life - he was everything to me.

He got very unwell over the weekend. His liver pain got worse and worse, he did not drink or eat anything and he was very apathetic.

On Sunday evening our niece dropped by and Paul said to her, but not in my presence, "I have had enough".

Later that same evening, after I had brought him to bed, I cried uncontrolably. I guess I knew the end was near. But Paul said to me I should not be afraid and that he would go into hospital the following day, get the Chemo done and be, as we say here in Ireland, as right as rain very soon.

On Monday in the day ward they gave Paul fluids. He was completely dehydrated. They also took bloods and, once it was clear that he had several infections somewhere in his body and that the kidneys were no longer working properly, they gave him three different antibiotics in the hope that they would cover the infections.

Paul was admitted to a single room on a lovely ward. I told everyone that I would stay with Paul all the time, even over night, and they let me.

Then the doctor called me into his office, closed the door and told me that Paul was very seriously ill and that they expected it not to be long now.

I spent the evening sitting by Paul's bedside. Now that I knew that he wouldn't survive, I gently said to him, "Of course I want you to stay with me for much longer. But it is okay if you want to let go. You can go now." He perked up after that for a couple of hours. He told me that he felt it was a bad thing for him to let go. I said no it was not, he could really let go if he wanted. I gave him tea, he had a bite to eat, and we watched some tv together.

But during the night he got worse. He couldn't articulate himself any longer and was very agitated. He was often lying in bed half asleep and then a liver cramp would wake him up and make him scream. Also, he was not comfortable with the bladder katheter and felt that he needed to go to the bathroom all the time. At one stage I didn't catch him early enough when he tried to get up and when he fell into my arms with exhaustion he pleaded with me, "Bring me to a more beautiful place." His breathing changed. The breaths were very shallow and there was a sigh on the outbreath. The nurses told me it could be comfort breathing because he was not in pain now that they had given him so much pain medication, but I knew it was not. After every liver cramp there was a sob.

At ten o'clock the doctors told me that the bloods had not improved and that they would stop all medication now except for palliative care.

I left the hospital for a couple of hours to get some rest and to collect some things from home as we didn't know how long it would take and whether it would be another night.

When I came back his situation had deteriorated very much. His breathing was so shallow, he didn't scream with pain any longer, he was no longer conscious.

I sat with him from about 5pm until he passed at ten minutes past eight. I had my hand on his heart all the time telling him that it was okay to let go and that there was no more pain and no more suffering and that I was there for him always. I felt his heart stop.

And you know what? Of course I was absolutely heart-broken, but there was also a sense of relief for him: no more suffering, no more fighting. He battled with this cancer so so so well for fifteen years and the time had come to stop fighting.

The staff in the hospital were amazing. The level of care for Paul and support for me was absolutely wonderful. And they not only allowed me to be with him all the time, but they also involved me in whatever they were doing with him so that we really worked in a team to make Paul as comfortable and safe as possible.

I will leave it at that for the moment.

Warm wishes to everyone.

Mel.

93 Replies
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I’m so sorry to hear this news. You have my sincerest and deepest condolences.

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So sorry...

I admire you and your courageous husband for his fight.

Wish you better days

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Yours is the first reply that I have written but I feel compelled to let you know that you have my deepest condolences in the loss of your precious Paul. May you take comfort in the fact that you both did everything you could to extend his life, neither of you lost hope until the very end and you experienced much joy together through all the ups and downs of your good fight - simply because you were together. And may you soon realize that Paul will always be with you.

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My sincere condolences, Melanie. That was deeply touching. His suffering is now over.

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You both fought the Battle. The Journey you both were on--the Paul the Pca patient, and the loving soulmate --->Melanie, your travels, could be made into a short story at the very least. Paul's Misery is over. At and near the end, the treatments are not an inducement to QOL. But we hope against hope. Your tortured Love, will continue for awhile. And as time goes by I pray that you will come to a peace that only a few of us ever get to know---a serenity of the Heavens.

May God keep and hold you, and bring understanding unto you, and Grant you Peace.

Nalakrats

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Lots of prayers for you, dear. I am so sorry for your loss. Tons of hugs.

Softwaremom

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I wish that I could articulate into words how I feel regarding your loss. Paul no longer suffers and it's my sincerest hope that your suffering will be brief and you will focus on the wonderful times you had with him.

My heart bleeds for you Mel. I'm so sorry.

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Melanie, My sincere condolances for your loss, You both fought a brave battle with this disease, May peace be with you.

Dan

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Sorry for your loss. Lots of prayers and condolences for you.

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Mel,

Please accept my condolences. He fought hard and you were with him every step of the way. I wish you peace.

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Melanie I am saddened by your loss, my heart goes out to you. My condolences to you. Paul fought a tough battle and he was lucky to have you with him supporting him as you did the entire time. I thank you for all of your posts and keeping us in tune with his status over the last year.

Rest your heart he is in peace now. It will be difficult but just remember he is watching over you, an angel now can spread his wings. God bless you and your family. May he Rest In Peace. Sending you big hugs.

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Mel,

Many condolences to you. My heart feels very heavy for your loss.

Many hugs from Texas.

Greg

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Oh Mel....I am sobbing for both of you as I read your message. I'm so deeply sorry for your pain and heartbreak. I hope you have family and friends, besides us to help you through.

Most sincere,

Jackie

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Me too Jackie..

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So very sorry for your loss of Paul, Melanie - he was obviously comforted by you being with him, you are a strong lady - peace to you and Paul.

George

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My sincere condolences

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Mel - I'm so sorry to hear of his passing and my sincerest condolences to you and the family. You have been his "rock" though this ordeal, I'm glad that you were with him at the end of his journey.

Thank you also for posting especially at this very difficult time.

Rest in Peace Paul and suffer no more

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So sorry for your loss of your great love Paul. Our family praying for you. God bless you

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So so sorry to hear this sad news. What a fighter Paul was and so very lucky to have you by his side right until the end xxxx

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God bless you, Mel, and your family.💗 He was surrounded by the ones he loved and who loved him.

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God Bless you and your loving Paul. You are an inspiration to all of us.

Mark, Atlanta

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I'm so sorry for your loss. i'm sure it was a great comfort to both of you that you were together to the end.

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My deepest sympathy for your great loss. I lost my husband Feb3,2018. My prayers will continue for you & all of those on this courageous journey. Carlene

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Melanie, you have been the best medicine; your love in Paul's life has so enriched his life and given him strength to live with his cancer. Thank you for being there for him, and thank you for sharing so openly with us. Broken hearts hurt, but that is because they were so very full to begin with. Continue to live in the blessing of that love.

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I'm deeply sorry Mel, I'm praying for you to get through this time with the peace that comes from the knowledge that God loves you and that He will take care of you. I admire the love that you and Paul had for eachother. I send you a hug🙏💛

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Your loss is crushing. I am so very sorry, but am thankful that you could be with him in those last days.

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Sorry to hear of Paul's passing. Enjoyed our interactions here. God bless you and give you peace. Tears on my cheeks for a man and his wife I never met face to face.

Doug- AZ-USA

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Mel,

I am devastated for you, and I need to tell you what a beautiful person you are. The story of Paul’s last days is quite touching. I hope the rest of your life is filled with the beauty you exude, and I hope the happiness of your years with Paul overcomes your sadness quickly.

All my best to you,

Yost.

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Mel, my heart cries for you. You gave Paul the greatest gift by being with him as he took his last breath here on earth. Paul’s last few days were so much like my husband’s but we have the peace of knowing their pain is gone and I truly believe Paul will always be with you. Prayers for your peace and comfort. Lonni

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Melanie, I am very sorry. You are a wonderful, giving and loving soul. Thank you for sharing your and Paul’s story.

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Our sincerest condolences to you Melanie. Thank you for your generous care for your beloved Paul. How fortunate he was to have you by his side through the fight, and ultimately, as he passed. May your sorrow fade and be replaced with fond memories and a positive path forward, until you meet again. Leo

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Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I wonder what happens at the end of the battle. Very sorry for your loss.

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i appreciate that you are able to share your story despite your pain. i believe this open and honest account helps us all facing our uncertain futures. thank you.

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Oh Mel, I’m so sorry not to have known until now. But everyone else has been here for you and Paul.

You have been our mentor in courage and indomitability against APC. I hope I do half as well for Leswell. You are an amazing caretaker, and I will never forget the two of you.

Today we had Les’s post-op without the surgeon but with a most competent, caring nurse. I also attended a funeral for a wonderful man, who happened to be deaf, and was successfully employed at 3M for 25 years.

Today, Les could scarcely walk to his doctor appointment, but he’s taking the Zytiga and Prednisone and hoping for less pain.

Tonight, Mel and Paul, may you rest in God’s love and all of ours. Jan and Les

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My heart breaks with yours. I cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow. May precious memories bring some measure of comfort during these difficult days. Peace and blessings. Julie

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Very sorry; in italian we say: without words.

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My most sincere condolences, Melanie. You have been so steadfast in devotion to your beloved Paul. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sending a virtual hug to you, Mary

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Thinking of you and sending my love x

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So sorry to hear this. He is at peace now and I hope you can find comfort in the fact that you were with him every step of the way and he knows you will always be holding him in your heart and mind forever. X

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This brings back all the pain when my dad passed away. I feel for you.

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Dear Melanie, Your story leaves me sad for your what you and your dear Paul had to go through, scared for what my precious Rob and I may have t go through, inspired by your strength and courage and thankful that we have a God who is with us every step of the way. May His presence with you now give you continued strength, comfort, and peace; and may your sweet memories of Paul and your life with him bring you joy. Blessings and Love, Barbara

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Rest in Peace Paul. Melanie, thank you for writing. I am so sorry and send you and your family my deepest sympathy. As Enzo said, words fail. from another wife

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Melanie- Your words about his last days are as peaceful and loving as every one of your posts. You've been a wonderful example of how to truly be a partner and caregiver. Although I don't know you personally, you have helped me handle a few things in my husband's journey through reading your loving and clear words in similar situations. Thank you. You will be in my heart.

Polly

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Im sorry to hear this Mel. I know you know Paul is in a better place right now. I also know at this point it still feels so bad to lose tour soulmate. Prayers for you Mel. Paul was a lucky man to have you by his side. Take great care of yourself going foward.

Thomas

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May god be with you, and hold you near..

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Dear Mel, I am in tears after reading your post. My heart goes out to you and your family. I share your pain.

I just wish there were words at this very sad time that I could say to heal your heavy heart. I am so so very sorry for your great loss.

You both fought so hard together and never gave up hope.

Blessings and hugs coming your way..

Love , Lynn. 💗

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So very sorry our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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So sorry for your loss but relieved he his now without pain. God bless uou both.

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What a lovely tribute to both you and Paul! Courage and love what else does one need. Melanie, you are an inspiration to all of us! Ian

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So very sorry for your loss ,his battle is now over. RIP

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No words...only silent tears.

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Mel

When I read your post and your account of Paul’s final days my heart grew heavy and the tears just started flowing. I’m at a loss for words to adequately convey my sorrow for you at your loss, and my admiration for you and Paul for your bravery in fighting this terrible disease until it was time to say “enough.”

I will keep you both in my prayers, and hope that time will heal your grief and leave you with happy memories of your time together.

Mark

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So sorry Mel. Know that your beloved Paul is in that "beautiful place" he wanted to be. You were with him and there for him always and through everything. God Bless you and bring you peace.

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So sorry to hear about Paul, you know some void can never be filled no matter what you do but for the sake of precious time you two had together that had so much love and courage..please keep him alive by living your life best way that you can manage. He is at peace now . God bless you Melanie.

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You're a trooper, Melanie. Thank you for letting your emotions flow through the keyboard so all of us can understand what's ahead. I'm truly sorry that Paul is no longer walking tall, but I know that his last thoughts were of you comforting him. Keep your memories close, Mel.

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God bless you and Paul!

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I am so sorry to hear about Paul. He was truly a fighter. My deep condolonces to you and your family.

Nick

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God bless you and Rest In Peace Paul. Strength to you and your family.

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Dearest Mel --

I am so heartbroken to have read that your sweet Paul has passed. I have been following your posts as my Doug has Stage IV mets to the liver and bones and we are in the middle of his fourth course of chemo -- 15 treatments so far. This may be his last go round with chemo as he is tired of the fight as well. You shared much inspiration to me. I know there are no words to ease your pain and loss but know that I wish you nothing but beautiful memories of the life the two of you shared together. Big hugs and sincerest of condolences to you and your family.

Lynnette

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I thought about you since your last post & prayed that you both would find peace & solace. God had other plans for Paul. He is now freed from his pain & suffering. I pray that you will find comfort in the memories of your life together.

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My deepest and heartfelt sympathy for you. God bless you.

Take Good Care,

Monty

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Dayum Melanie in sorry, we know he had happiness oin his heart and you on his SPIRIT. Thankful that the suffering and what iffs, are done, GODSPEED PAUL.

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Dear Melanie-

I have never replied on this board, but I feel compelled to reply to you. My Dad is fighting this fight right now, which is why I am here. I am crying reading your post and do not know you at all, but your amazing love for Paul and his amazing love for you is so very beautiful. What a very courageous woman you are for how you have stood by, fought with, and held him in his toughest times. I cannot imagine your pain, but I will be lifting you up in prayer in the days and months ahead. May the Lord surround you with His love and peace. God bless you, Melanie.

Lora

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I’m sorry for your loss. I pray that God will alleviate your suffering and grant you peace.

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Melanie - I, too, am sorry to hear of his passing, but I am happy that you were able to be with him as he moved on to a more restful, peaceful place. My prayers go out to you, him, and all of your families.

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I'm so sorry for your loss. You and Paul are in our prayers.

Stay strong

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Dearest Mel,

My words will fall so far short of the compassion, support and love I want you to feel. In my very core, my heart of hearts I thank you for the tale of Paul's last few days. Although I am not near that end yet, I pray that my wife and I make that journey with the love, understanding you two have shown.

Prose for you Dear Mel

Though today your heart be broken, leaking emotions all around

Your mind still full of wanting to make what isn't to be again

Tomorrow's dawn is coming, with calming, gentle hands

To still the waves of grief, set your feet on solid ground

Slowly you’ll go wading in the ripples that do remain,

Ripples of moments golden to carry on, as a hug from loving arms

Love for those in our past, Love for ourselves, and all that surrounds us,

These be the only keys to moving on from loss,

And leaving nothing loved behind.

Best wishes and love for your healing,

Michael Beeson

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm praying for you. Don’t worry, you will be reunited with Paul someday and then you will be with him forever. God didn’t put us through this for nothing. Life teaches us all love and mercy. We have a loving God, who will ultimately save us ALL.

1 Corinthians 15:22-27

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So sorry to read your story. My deepest condolences. You are an amazing woman Mel and Paul was lucky to have you by his side these past years.

Ken

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Melanie, my thoughts are with you. I am glad that you were able to be with him till the last breath and that he knew that you were able to let him go home. As a Christian I pray and hoped that he knew and accepted Jesus as his Savior. The eternal joy and peace of knowing that believers will someday see each other again in heaven gives me hope as I continue with my own battle with my wife of 15 years beside me.You and Paul have fought the battle well. Stay strong and know that most of us in this special community are thinking of you.

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Your story and grief bring back memories of Kevin’s final days in the hospital last year. We too felt a horrible loss but also a sense of relief that his suffering, fear and uncertainty were over. I wish you healing and send positive thoughts. Thinking of you.

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Dear Melanie, Thank you for sharing This touching story of love .... You are an Angel .. We all can learn a great lesson from your tender care for Paul. He was blessed with you in life and into the next realm.. I pray that we all can have such love and peace With each other while alive and in the end. If you’re ever in the US southwest or you wish to see the Grand Canyon ? We invite you to visit us.. Peace and health to you ... Scott& Shahrnoosh...in Az.

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Gods peace and love to you and yours......

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May he rest in peace. God Bless.

j-o-h-n

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I've shed tears for some of the posts here. Today it was gater tears. I am so sorry.

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God bless Paul soul and God bless you, you are a very strong lady.. Your words must have given strength to Paul's soul to leave his body to go to a peaceful place...take care.. Be strong so that if Paul is watching you from above he finds you in peace too.. It must have been very difficult for him to let it go...but all your support was great. Your last moments together were the best as well as difficult moments. God bless.

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My condolences Melanie for Paul. Your story bought a tear to my eye as i remembered my wife passing from breast cancer 21 years ago.

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My heartfelt condolences to you Meanie Paul. Your narration of Paul's passing away was really touching. Paul was lucky that he had a wife like you who followed him throughout his journey like his shadow. Your story is inspiring for those who are with their husbands who fight this disease. May God give you peace of mind in your life.

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May peace and the healing from grief be with you, Melanie.

Thank you so much for sharing those intimate moments near the end of Paul's life.

Charles

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I’m so sad to hear your heart breaking news. We are thinking and praying for you.

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Dear Melanie,

Your post had me choked up with emotion; your eloquent narrative of the final days of Paul’s journey was most touching. This was obviously written by the most loving, compassionate person that anyone could ever imagine. At this time when I’m sure you are inundated with obligations you have made the effort to describe (in great detail) something that most of us wonder about. You have also been one of the most active and informative of the folks on this forum posting 44 (that I’m aware of) updates on Paul’s condition. Going back through your previous posts, it is quite obvious that you and Paul had a very special relationship; one that most couples can only dream of! Paul had to be one phenomenal guy to be lucky enough to have you in his life. Your incessant commitment to him had to be the most mitigating therapy that one could ever ask for. Melanie, your telling Paul “ that it was okay to let go and that there was no more pain and no more suffering and that you were there for him always.” reminded me of a song that I would like played at my memorial service. It is called ‘Set Free’ and is a piano solo by James Onohan. You should be able to access it at the 13:43 minute mark on his 21:16 minute YouTube video titled ‘Relaxing Wonder Ocean Mix’.

We all know that Paul is 'up there’ keeping tabs on you (and us) now and wants you to concentrate on 'just' the wonderful memories that the two of you enjoyed throughout the past eight years. I also want to compliment you on your impressive command of the English language; especially for a person whom I assume was born in Germany.

My best to you and please drop us an occasional line or two…I’m sure everyone here would like to hear from you.

Ron Pitelka

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My most heartfelt condolences.

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Hi everyone.

I thank you so much for all your moving posts.

Today is my first day alone. I have not been alone since the day Paul passed away. And, while this was amazing because it helped me over the first number of days, it makes it somehow more difficult now to be on my own and to really have to realize that Paul is not only not there because he is in hospital but that he will never ever come back. I am so absolutely heart-broken. I miss every little thing about him. And I have no idea how to go on.

Mel.

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Hi everyone.

The funeral was on Monday. It was a small group of people - only the ones who had been close to Paul and us - who came first to the funeral home to see him one last time and then went with us to the place where the ceremony was taking place. It was a lovely service. Paul will be so sadly missed by everyone.

Mel.

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Hi everyone.

I went back to the hospital on Wednesday. I just felt the need to speak with Paul's doctor one more time.

The doctor explained that he had been happy enough with Paul's bloods on the Tuesday (one week before he passed away). The only thing that had worried him back then, he said, had been the low Albumin levels and the CRP of 96. But he would have gone ahead with Chemo anyway. When we presented at the hospital on the following Monday, he said, Pauls infection marker had been at 316 and the kidney markers - I am not sure what they are called - had been at 27 and 178. Paul had actually become septic. The doctor told me the name of a bacteria that they found in his blood, I think he said that it had come from the kidneys or the urine but I have forgotten the name right now. He said that sometimes they had cases where this infection happens but in Paul's case it had been very severe. I would like to know what it was. I think I will ask again. And the liver markers had gone up from one blood test in the morning to the next one in the afternoon even.

Sometimes I think to myself: If only I had brought Paul in for Chemo the previous week instead of waiting a little longer to let the system get stronger, would he have made it then? Or were the kidneys weak and about to fail even then?

And I often ask myself: I gave Paul a treatment with essential oils on Friday which we wanted. But essential oils lead to a detox. Did they maybe cause a detox and did the sepsis happen because of that?

And I feel so guilty for asking him to go out for a little while on the Saturday and the Sunday. I thought it was the right thing to do because I wanted him to be strong for the next Chemo. But was it? Or did I make things worse?

And then, when I come to this point, I am always thinking: Well, if things were so bad that having a walk or not having a walk or having an oil treatment or not having one could make such a difference, then it would not have been long anyway until the end.

I think I am trying to explain everything to myself because this is what I have always done. For years and years I have tried to understand Paul's disease and to help find the right treatment options. So now at the end of this journey I feel I cannot have any open questions.

Mel.

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My heart aches for you! By all means get the facts surrounding Paul’s death from the doctors so that you will understand exactly what happened. Take comfort in the fact that you did all you could in being a supportive, loving & compassionate partner. But it was Paul who had the disease - not you, and you shouldn’t carry it around for the rest of your life. Please don’t torture yourself! I’m sure he wouldn’t want that for you.

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Mel,

Nothing you did caused Paul to leave the earth. You were able to help him to stay far longer than he would have been able to stay, just from your love for him. Your heartbreak is raw.... guilt I think... sadly...goes along with grieving. I'm so sorry you're alone. Maybe you have friends or a family member to stay with you for a couple of weeks or you with them. My thoughts and prayers for peace in your heart and soul. Paul is with you.

Most sincere sympathy,

💔Jackie

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Hi everyone.

So I still don't know what they gave Paul in his final hours, but I know now that it was a Klebsiella infection which lead to sepsis which then lead to multi-organ failure. No-one can say for sure of course, but I think it all goes back to the pneumonia. Very sad.

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💗💕🌷

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Thank you so much again everyone for your posts. I think Paul would be very touched to know how affected you were by his passing. I will write some more but in a different thread out of respect for Paul. This was about our journey together.

Hugs to veryone!

Mel.

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What a truly wonderful person you are! Time, only time heals the wounded heart; until then may God show his mercy by holding you in his loving arms providing comfort.

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My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I am trul sorry, and know how you feel as I just lost my husband too.

God Bless you,

Kim (wife of Hankwhy) ➕🙏🏼

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I'm sorry for the late reply Melanie, I haven't had a chance to be on the site much of late. I'm sorry for your loss, each time I read one of your posts, I was in your corner, wishing and hoping things would get better, but I guess it was Paul's time. May he rest now in Peace.

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