Michael’s journey with palliative care


June 29


Michael 1 225x300 - Michael's journey with palliative care - #4 June 29

Michael cooking for the family

It’s been a good month. We had Father’s Day up at the lake. I did most of the cooking and my oldest daughter helped me. It was great to have everyone together. Several of us will be up there over July 4 and we’ll cook out again.


I was supposed to get a treatment on June 21, but I wasn’t feeling well. Labs tests showed that my white blood count was high and my potassium was low. Treatment was postponed and I got two infusions of potassium along with some antibiotics. I’m feeling much better now and got chemo yesterday.


When I was sick for several days in a row after my last treatment, it was pretty depressing. I am learning that I am living with a disease. I am going to have bad times, so I have to enjoy the good days. We’re planning things to do. I went years without going to a theater and now already I’ve seen two movies. Jurassic Park was very good, and it felt good to get out. I want to take Linda to see the movie about Elvis. She loved Elvis!


I’m looking forward to going up to see the Mackinac Bridge. My sister gave me a photo taken when our family was there. I was only about two years old! Now I’m making new memories and giving our kids memories of things we’re doing together.


I am so fortunate to have a wonderful family and a lot of friends. It can be hard for a person who is used to doing things to have to ask for help, but you can’t be afraid to do that. People are always willing to help — even my twelve-year-old grandson. We are very close, and if I need help, I just call him.


When I was diagnosed in January 2021, one doctor told me I might as well go home and call hospice. That didn’t sit right with me. Here I am, 18 months later. I have a disease that used to be a death sentence. Now, there are treatments and new medications coming along. If one doesn’t work, there are others. My pain has decreased, so I’m hoping for good news that the tumor that wasn’t cooperating is now shrinking. I see the doctor on July 12 to get a scan and will have a follow-up appointment on July 19.


When I talk with the Harbor Palliative Care staff, they are always open–minded and focused on giving me the best quality of life possible. They are great people. For example, I’m having trouble sleeping, so that’s the next thing to ask them about. If I call them today and tell them, I know they will come up with something for me to try. I can talk with them, and they are always comforting.


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