Kevin's Dead Cat

After surgery sliced off an entire tumor and 1/3 of my tongue, plus six weeks of radiation therapy, I've been re-learning how to eat, drink, and talk with my newly re-constructed tongue and coping with side effects. But the cancer came back and I don't know what's going to happen next.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Kevin's dead cat

From Philip K. Dick's novel, Valis, pg 26:

Our friend Kevin always began his attack one way. "What about my dead cat?" Kevin would ask. Several years ago, Kevin had been out walking his cat in the early evening. Kevin, the fool, had not put the cat on a leash, and the cat had dashed into the street and right into the front wheel of a passing car. When he picked up the remains of the cat it was still alive, breathing in bloody foam and staring at him in horror. Kevin liked to say, "On judgement day when I'm brought up before the great judge I'm going to say, 'Hold on a second,' and then I'm going to whip out my dead cat from inside my coat. 'How do you explain this? I'm going to ask." By then, Kevin would say, the cat would be as stiff as a frying pan; he would hold out the cat by its handle, its tail, and wait for a satisfactory answer.

Fat said, "No answer would satisfy you."

"No answer you could give," Kevin sneered. "Okay, so God saved your son's life; why didn't he have my cat run out into the street five seconds later? Three seconds later? Would that have been too much trouble? Of course, I suppose a cat doesn't matter.?

"You know, Kevin," I pointed out one time, "you could have put the cat on a leash."

Laura's resting place

On September 21st, 2005, Laura was buried in Kaneohe, Hawaii at Hawaiian Memorial Park. I haven't had the strength to post this earlier, not that I really feel that I have it now, but I can't leave it undone. One of her last wishes was to be buried here, with her grandparents. The site is a place of natural beauty, and Laura felt a strong connection to it. The two photos here are of the view from her graveside. When it rains, the mountains are filled with waterfalls. If any of you visit, please let me know.


Monday, September 05, 2005

Laura Esguerra Adams (July 5, 1969 - September 3, 2005)

On Saturday night at 10:35 pm, Laura, my darling wife, died in her sleep after a 14-month battle with cancer. She had come home from the hospital on Tuesday, after having made the choice not to have her gastric feeding tube reinstalled. Laura was able to say goodbye to some of her friends and family, and coming home gave her a few last moments of joy before she passed away, finally leaving behind the suffering she has had to endure for the previous months. I am sitting now, alone, in our loft, the hospital bed to my right, surrounded by medical equipment, the oxygen pumps now silent, and my heart aches for her presence, but I am grateful that she is no longer in pain and can finally find some peace.

Laura, I miss you and I love you. You are my family and I am yours.


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Laura at home

Laura has had a very difficult time in the last two weeks--she has had two hospital stays for a total of 11 out of 14 days hospitalized. The day she was to be released from the first, she suffered a pulmonary embolism that caused her to be even more weak and in pain when released later in the week. After the embolism, she had a procedure to insert an umbrella shaped filter to catch any additional blood clots from her legs before they reach her lungs. This, too, created extreme pain in her right leg. After the procedure, Laura was able to come home for two of the hardest days out of countless hard days we've ever faced. Every day my heart breaks and after endless days of crying, I think it can't break anymore, but when seeing her suffering like that it breaks all over again.

After those two days, Laura had a problem with her gastric feeding tube and I called the paramedics again. Laura was admitted to hospital, but she chose not to have the feeding tube reinstalled. She had made the decision that there would be no more pain and suffering. She was ready. Once again my heart breaks. The only thing I can imagine worse than losing Laura is seeing her continue to suffer. After a weekend of discussion and tears with family, friends, doctors and social workers, Laura held fast to her decision. She has come home to spend her remaining time with family and friends. Doctors say she will have anywhere from a few more hours to two weeks before she leaves us. We are doing everything we can to make her comfortable and let her know how much we love her. She is the strongest person I know, and I am proud of her for facing this with such courage.

To all her family and friends, including those friends she met here, through this blog, Laura sends her love.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Laura's hospital stay extended

The doctors are having some trouble getting Laura's infection under control--her white blood cell count hasn't improved much with the current antibiotics, so they are planning to keep her at Kaiser West LA for a few more days. The good news is that it's not deep in her lungs--not pneumonia in other words. I'll update the blog whenever I can, but I'm spending most of my time at the hospital, so keep checking back even if things don't change too fast.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Laura's in the hospital

On Wednesday night, Laura had a very bad coughing episode and was coughing blood through her tracheostomy. I called the paramedics and they took us to County Hospital (the closest) Emergency. The bleeding was gotten under control quickly--she most likely broke a blood vessel because she was coughing so hard. After about 5 hours in emergency she was transferred to Kaiser West LA, where they're keeping her under observation because she also has an infection in her lungs. There hasn't been any more bleeding, and she is taking IV antibiotics for the infection. She will be in the hospital until Sunday at least and perhaps longer. Normally she would be at Sunset, but West LA had the only available rooms on Wednesday night. Call me or the hospital for more information. Sorry I haven't had time to let you all know personally. Thanks everyone.