l Tony enjoyed several trips to the Steele Hill Resort indoor pool this year. He likes the West pool best, because the atrium is decorated (and heated!) to resemble the tropics. When his son Mike and daughter-in-law Patty, and grand-daughter Rachel came for a visit around Thanksgiving, the whole family went to Steele Hill for a swim. Tony wished he could get into the pool.
l A CT Scan of Tony's lungs and liver, taken early in December, revealed tumors. Tony's doctor was not hopeful that the cancer would leave Tony alive much longer than 6 months. When told, Tony expressed surprise. He said he felt great, with only the occasional discomfort from sitting in a wheelchair all day.
l December 27, Tony's daughter Terri, her husband Chris, and Tony's grandchildren Melissa and Chad, visited Tony at Epsom Healthcare and at Liz's house. By this time, Tony had lost much of his appetite, was on pureed foods, and had been receiving morphine through a skin patch. It was decided that the morphine should be discontinued until Tony experienced real pain, instead of the occasional discomfort he was feeling. He was much more alert on December 28th at Liz's house, and enjoyed a brief visit. He smiled happily when Terri placed her little dog, Dixie, onto Tony's lap. He loves to pet dogs!
l December 29 and 30: Tony meets his new hospice care staff, and the family is informed about how hospice really works. Tony is able to stay right at Epsom Manor, in his own room, and is kept comfortable and happy. Although all dietary restrictions are removed, Tony rarely feels hunger now. He likes a lollipop now and again, and still sips shakes and soda. When he played Yahtzee with his grandsons, he enjoyed making the correct "poker" combinations, but he couldn't mark his own score card without help. He tired easy during that visit, and requested to be put to bed.
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