Saturday, March 6, 2010

Truely Home

On behalf of the Strubbe family (Eugene, son in law)

It is with a heavy heart, but with an encouraged spirit that I am writing to let everyone know that Sue passed away last night. It was at 8:15 pm on March 5, 2010. Friends and family were gathered around her as she drew her last breath and peacefully answered the Lord's calling to come home. Tears and hugs were shared through the night as we all grieved a loss and understood that everyone was blessed from the love of a wonderful woman.

Earlier in the day, the hospice nurse had tended to her and recognized that her condition was declining to a critical state. Some other medicine was administered to aid with the pain and some labored breathing at which point she began to rest easier. There were moments where it seemed that she began breathing in time with the ocean waves on the beaches of Gulf Shores. It is fitting since that was one her favorite destinations where she could describe her fondest spots with such detail that you could feel the ocean breeze and take in the aroma of the local cuisine. This was even more evident as all who were gathered could share how Sue had brought life into all of her stories and loved to bring you into it. From a sister, wife, mother, aunt, grand mother, childhood friend to recent friend, mother in law...she never changed and believed that hugs and love could solve anything and if it didn't work the first time, hug and love some more. Sue fought and fought harder from knowing that her loved one's were around. Pastor Jerry from Old Bethel United Methodist Church came over and led a time of prayer.

For all who have been reading and offering your support in prayer, the family has been blessed by you all. It is these overwhelming times that the overwhelming care being received leaves everyone humbled. Please join us as arrangements have been made at

Legacy Funeral Center at Memorial Park
9350 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46229

The calling will be held on Monday, March 8th from 4:00 to 8:00.
On Tuesday, the service will be preceded by an additional time for the calling at 12:00 with the service to start at 1:00.

In the end, I know that Sue was at peace and had to smile that her work here was complete as we continued to share hugs and love. Thank you for joining in this journey and being a part of our lives.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Today mom got to go home. She was very excited and ready to be in some familiar surroundings.

We were not discharged until around 3:00 this afternoon. My dad left the hospital earlier in the day to be at home to receive the supplies provided by hospice. Dad had to move around some of the furniture in our family room to make space for the bed.

Mom was taken home in an ambulance. This was her first time in one. Before the trip, she was given some pain medication to make the trip a little easier. As we were leaving the hospital, she told me that when we got home she wanted to go to bed and sleep. :) What's funny is that is exactly what she did.

After we arrived at the house, a member of the hospice team came out to check over mom and to bring us some final supplies. Her hospice nurse will be coming tomorrow to let us know what her schedule will be and to make sure mom is comfortable.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rolling Around :)

"I'm ready to get up!"

Those are the words mom spoke earlier today. We got the "lift team" to come and assist mom in getting out of bed around noon. We started with the recliner and then later moved her into a wheelchair. We took her for a stroll...or I guess a roll around the hospital. We stopped by the piano for a bit downstairs in the lobby and then went to hang out in the atrium across from her room. After almost 3 hours of being out of bed, mom was ready to return to bed. The lift team returned again to get mom back into bed. I think she wants to hire them to be her personal lift team. :)

Today the hospice doctor spoke about the possibility of transitioning mom from inpatient hospice care to home hospice care. We were excited to here that news. Mom would really like to be at home. We should know by the end of the week whether or not that will be possible. Please be praying for this possible move and for the transition. We want to make it smooth and easy for mom.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another Room....but this one has a view

Yesterday we made another move in the hospital to a large room with a view. Mom is now in a room that looks like a hotel room. It has hard wood floors and a large bathroom with beautiful tile. The best part about the room happens to be the atrium right across the hall. It is an enclosed atrium with bamboo trees and flowers. We were able to take mom in there to sit and relax. It was great. We sat in there for about 3 hours enjoying the sunlight pouring in through the skylight.

Mom continues to do well. She feels very comfortable and she's eaten a bit here and there. We've been picking up anything that she's craving. I believe today the craving was shrimp scampi. :)

Mom's had a lot of friends and family visiting the past couple days. She's enjoyed spending time talking and laughing with all of them. We've also met with the hospice doctors and nurses daily. Mom's been making them laugh with her sense of humor. :) They are all very helpful and nice. They are taking great care of my mom.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Bit of Sunshine

Mom woke up today so clear and coherent. She was not able to remember anything that had happened to her. She didn't know that she'd been so sick. We were all so surprised by that, but then quickly gave praise to God. We know that God was with her and protecting her from all that pain and discomfort. We spent the most of the morning/afternoon filling her in about the week and sharing with her about the decisions that were made regarding her care.

Mom was also able to eat some food for the first time in a week. She requested a Big Mac, fries, and a small coffee. :) She definitely enjoyed it. We did pick up a strawberry shake for her later in the evening from Dairy Queen as well.

Our family enjoyed the time we had to talk and laugh with mom today.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Care for Mom

Yesterday Mom was given more plasma and platelets in order to increase her INR level, so that a paracentesis could be given to her. Everything went well with the new blood; however, by the time she was finished getting was too late for the procedure. Mom was very uncomfortable and having trouble breathing. Around 8:30 she began to have more trouble breathing. The nurses had to put her on 100% oxygen and they began calling her oncologist and other doctors to see if we could get the fluid removed from her stomach to relieve some of the pressure on her lungs. Thankfully, they were able to find a doctor to do the procedure. He ended up performing the procedure in her room and hooked up a type of drain to her stomach so that the fluid could be continually removed from here on out. We were so thankful for his help. Mom has already shown huge improvements in her breathing and she was really able to rest comfortable for the first time in about 5 days.

Today we spoke with the nurse practitioner that works with her oncologist. We had the discussion about next steps for mom. At this time, there is not much more that can be done for her. We spoke a lot about wanting to keep her comfortable and being able to manage any pain that she has. We are planning to speak with someone regarding hospice care later today. The doctor has recommended that we keep her in the inpatient hospice care here at the hospital. At the hospital, she'll continue to receive care from the nurses as well as having a hospice nurse that will check in with her daily. The goal will be to keep her as comfortable as we can. We are so thankful for all the staff here at the hospital. They have been very helpful and caring during this time.

We continue to give thanks to our family and friends for supporting us.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Some more news

Over the night Mom continued to feel a little restless and found it difficult to sleep. In the morning she started to feel the effects of fatigue and low blood sugar. Initially she began to suffer through moments of disorientation. The staff began to treat the blood sugar by giving her a supplement through the IV every 6 hours. In addition, they continued administering antibiotics and saline. As the day progressed, she felt a little more settled but is still dealing with the swelling from the fluid build up in her abdomen. The on call doctor conferred with her Oncologist regarding the treatments for her current conditions and shared that there was not much more that could be done. They advised that treatments should be scaled back and directed towards keeping mom comfortable. The goal right now is to get her blood back under control and then to remove the fluid from her abdomen.

Mom continues to find comfort from all the support and love that has come from family and friends. We are grateful that she has been blessed with such great friends. As well, we would also like to thank everyone who has helped the rest of my family.