Jared passed away this morning, peacefully, at home, surrounded by love. This final blog post was written on 25 September when it was clear to Jared and all close to him that his time was nearing an end. To those who have followed this blog from the beginning or picked up along the way – thank you for journeying with Jared, for your camaraderie and encouragement. Sharing this journey gave Jared more purpose and fulfilment than can be expressed in words. We are so proud of him in every way and grateful for the immense love he brought to our lives. We will miss him always. Hannah and Elise.
On Wednesday 8th October 2014, I passed away at 1125 hours.
The time leading up to my death was mixed with days of feeling well and days of feeling pretty terrible. I am thankful that we only have to go through this process once in our life. I would have liked to have written more leading up to my death but the reality was that the medication and my state of mind made it impossible to write coherent statements and turn them into phrases and paragraphs.
One of the things that has happened since I became palliative was I received an offer of someone to write my book for me. David Williams was a friend of a friend, he approached me while I was in the hospice and was very enthusiastic about the process. I spent one hour a day for the better part of three weeks being interviewed, telling my story, in such that I hope my words are not lost. David is an author, previously a reporter, a PhD graduate who embraced this opportunity and I am forever grateful to him for doing so. During this time we traced the highs and lows of life but in particular the last 5.5 years of my diagnosis and, building on my blog, he is preparing to publish a book. This has been the focus of a lot of my energy in my final days. My hope is that this book will be an accurate representation for Elise to understand the life that her father has lived, and, secondarily, for those who may or may not be interested, exploring the highs and lows that someone might go through when diagnosed with cancer and navigating the subsequent journey. Those who read this blog may also find this interesting and Hannah will update the blog to advise when it will be published and how you can obtain a copy.
The second challenge of palliation has been balancing time with others and time with ourselves. As we have had a large number of requests for people to visit and spend time with us, this had to be weighed up against the limited strength and energy that I have had available to offer people, as well as the time that I needed to spend with Hannah and Elise. It was amazing to see the day to day fluctuation of my energies; some days I have felt rather well while others have been extremely low in energy. Those final days were progressively spent with family and close friends until family alone was the priority and all I had energy left for. The final stretches of palliation were characterised by massive amounts of fatigue where I did not even have energy for those who were closest to me. I routinely got to the point where I wished my time was up and wondered why my body was still alive when it felt like it didn’t have the energy to do that well. Why it bothered to hold on for longer than I would have liked is a question I do not have an answer for. The augmentation and palliation of drugs was critical at keeping me going and preserving my sanity.
For those who have followed this journey I thank you for keeping me company and offering encouragement when you did. I appreciated your support, although I probably did not express that appreciation enough. It was nice to know that people valued the words I had to say. My time now has come to an end and apart from occasional updates regarding the book etc. nothing further will be written. I hope God has blessed you through joining me on my travels.
God bless, for the final time. I am checking out.