Thursday, October 11, 2007

My grandfather's final days....

I have blogged about my grandfather’s impact on my life and an amazing turn-around, the last few weeks have been filled with ups & downs. During last 72 hours my grandfather has been off his feeding tube. For the last 24 hours he has been in hospice. We do not know how long he will be with us. It might be hours, days or week.

Even without a feeding tube people can last over a week. The effects are different for everyone. They have him medicated and as of last night he was still responsive and was able to answer YES or NO questions. The nurse asked him if he was in pain and he shook his head NO. That was extremely good news. My family and I certainly do not want him to suffer. The hospitals hospice floor has great nurses. I cannot imagine how hard it is for them to see people die daily, but they are FIRST CLASS.

Last night I spoke with everyone in my family and made a decision to leave for Austin, TX this Friday. I was invited by the Lance Armstrong Foundation to participate in their Ride for the Roses weekend for their top fundraisers for their LIVESTRONG Challenge series.

My grandfather is a perfect example of living strong. This is a man who fought cancer, Leukemia CLL, for 17-18 years and never once complained. Heck, I did not even know he had cancer until I was diagnosed last year. That is when my grandmother told me. My team and I raised over $22,200 for the LAF. The entire time I always thought of my own fight and my grandfather’s fight. I am going to Austin to honor my grandfather and his fight against cancer. I was please that my family all agreed, he would want me to go.

I was able to say my goodbye two nights ago and I know he heard me as he looked me right in the eye and reached out for me. It was a very emotional moment. It is hard to see him in failing health, but one day we will all be faced with this reality.

Joseph Harold Wallace is a simple man who has core values such as, LOVE YOUR FAMILY, HELP OTHERS and WORK HARD! I will pass on the same values to my children, Caroline and Annabelle. I will make sure to tell them the stories of my grandfather and how he influenced my life. He has inspired me throughout my life and I promise to do the same with my children and grandchildren.