Friday, February 11, 2011


Tom was moved to hospice this evening - Hospice Atlanta. The doctor at the hospital suggested doing a liver biopsy and then another lumbar puncture - both very painful procedures. I elected not to. When I walked in today and saw Tom struggling with his breathing, eyes closed, mouth wide open and drooling, I decided that Tom didn't need all of that. Even if these procedures had pinpointed the issue, Tom was already in a no-win situation. A liver transplant and chemotherapy would have taken his life. I want him to relax and be as pain-free as possible. The doctor agreed in a roundabout way, as they are not permitted to speak their feelings (I've learned that over the past four years). I know deep down that he agreed with my decision. He said he was surprised that Tom has made it this far.

This was the most difficult decision I have EVER had to make. Even though I know I made the right decision, it is still a very troubling feeling.. Tom has been in a coma before (mentioned somewhere in a previous blog entry a couple of years ago), and made a remarkable recovery. This experience is nowhere near his condition at that time. He was able to walk, and eat, and talk, and drive, and maintain personal hygiene after coming out of the coma back then - he was self-sufficient. He honestly can't do anything right now.

Tom is in a much more relaxing place. His room is lit by calming lamp lighting, his "hospital bed" is much softer and lower to the ground like a normal bed. There is soft, soothing music playing very quietly, and there are accommodations for loved ones. The doctors and nurses are wonderful. This is the best place Tom can be right now They will give him enough Morphine to keep him pain-free, yet not so much as to put him in a complete stupor.

Katie and I are really struggling, but we are there for each other. If she's not crying, I am, and vice-versa. We comfort each other the best we can. It's good to have someone who knows exactly what you are going through. We share the same pain and share the same fond memories.
I have photos from today, and will post them later.


Shelley said...

So sad that you were faced with such a difficult decision. I love you all so much and hope that Tom is not in pain. Please let us know if you need anything at all. Xoxo


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...


You, more than anyone else, know that this was the best decision for Tom and your family. He would not want to live in this condition . . . as it's not really "living". Do not question yourself, no matter what - or who - tempts you. Please know that our family is here for you and Katie and Tom for anything you need. Have been, are now, and will continue to be.


P.S. I'm reposting this, as it originally showed up under an email address I use for some school stuff.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Lisa & Katie,
I know your hearts are aching but Lisa, please don't doubt yourself. Tom is a proud man and your decision maintains his dignity. I am here in Atlanta now and hope to see Tom first thing this morning. I completely support you. It has been a difficult journey but not without its beautiful, fun, and bright moments. Please let me know if you or Katie need me or Hannah for anything. I am grateful for all the special moments we've had. I am still greatly and cry as I write this because I love Tom so much. I'm sure I will see you at some point today. I love you and Katie very much and want to be here for you both. Hugs. Hugs to you both! And, Katha, I belive I love her too!
See ya soon...Elise & Hannah

Anonymous said...


Just love Tom and talk to him,hold him
let him know that you and Katie will go on. Let Katie have some private time with Tom it is important. Hillary and I will always be there to help you. I know what is happening to you ,Katie and Tom. I am so sorry

Eloise said...

Lisa, Richard agreed with you completly. It breaks his heart to see Tom Like this and he knows as you do that Tom does not want to be in this horrible way. In his most horrible pain when we were taking him hom from North Fulton, he was asking God why are you letting me put my family through this? He was thinking of his family first, as he always has. There is so much LOVE between Tom, you and Kate. It is a strong love that nobody feels but you guys. Richard and I will be there for you and Kate, we love you too.

sketchbob said...


I know what a difficult decision you must have faced. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Katie, and Tom.

Bob Fisher

Jay said...

Lisa and Katie,

I want you to know that I am so sorry for your loss. Tom was a good man and a good friend. I will miss Tom, but I am relieved that he is no longer in pain. I am always here for you both.
Jay Jenkins

marla tucker said...

i am so sorry you have went through this. we went through a similar situation w/ my father-in-law(he died this past november). much love and prayers to you and your daughter.