Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Cancer Crisis: 11:30 at the Conrad Hospice unit.

Virginia left the UIHC at 12:00 noon on Tuesday.  It was exactly on week ago from that moment that I picked her up in Waterloo for a three-week check-up regarding her chemo pills.  The slippery slope has been chronicled here on this blog.  I’m not going to rehash the whole week right now.  I will state that her prognosis has deteriorated rapidly.  We went from “These labs are a little out of whack” to “Steve I am so sorry” in the course of seven days.

The deterioration has been on a seemingly exponential slide.  We’ve gone from months, to weeks, to days and now hours in the space of 48 hours.

I’m sitting here in the corner writing this and talking with a couple of friends.  Virginia is currently running a temp of 104 breathing about once every 6-8 seconds and her lungs are rapidly filling with fluid.

She has been unresponsive since breakfast this morning.  I’m going to sit with her until the time comes.

Her journey is almost over.  I have found this series of articles to be a catharsis.  I do not enjoy sharing all this “bad” information but it helps me deal with the emotional upheaval.  It also serves as on stop clearing house for “How is Virginia doing.

I’ll let everyone know how things continue.   I appreciate all that has been said, re-posted, tweeted, blog, and IM’ed.

May 11, 2010 - Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight | , , ,


  1. This. This is my hand on your shoulder. This is my hand squeezing your shoulder, saying things that words cannot express right now.

    Comment by Daniel M. Perez | May 12, 2010

  2. You are so strong Steve! I can’t immagine having to go through anything even close to what you’ve dealt with thus far. I am sitting here praying for all of you & thinking about how Gin will be watching over all of you from Heaven. No more suffering cuz she gets to finally go home to our Father! Wishing my family & I could ease your pain! Just know, you have an amazing family & great friends to help you through this! We love you all! Jerilyn & Garnet Olsowski-Livingstone

    Comment by Jerilyn Olsowski-Livingstone | May 12, 2010

  3. My heart and my prayers are lifted on your behalf.

    Comment by Cathi Travis | May 12, 2010

  4. I know I am a complete stranger, but my thoughts will be with you.

    Comment by Dawn | May 12, 2010

  5. I lost my grandmother the same way. Peace be with you and your family.

    Comment by Will | May 12, 2010

  6. I found your blog via greywulf… I’m currently in cancer treatment, and have had several very dear friends lose their fight against one of the hardest bosses of them all. I am so sorry for your loss, and I don’t even know you. But I send you and yours a lot of digital love and hugs.

    Comment by Sara S | May 12, 2010

  7. If sharing helps, share away. I have no words to express my sorrow for your loss. I wish you and your family all the comfort you need in this time.

    Comment by cassey | May 12, 2010

  8. My deepest condolences to you, your children, and her family.

    Comment by newbiedm | May 12, 2010

  9. As someone who lost my mother suddenly when I was 6, you have my deepest sympathy and best wishes for you and your family going forward.

    If you are having financial difficulties, something you may not be aware of or thinking about right now is that Social Security pays Survivors Benefits and benefits are paid from the time of application, not death. See:

    Comment by John | May 12, 2010

  10. I am so sorry.

    Comment by Zachary | May 12, 2010

  11. Two of my closest friends have lost their mothers to cancer at a young age – your kids are lucky to have a caring father.

    Comment by Matt | May 12, 2010

  12. We’ll be praying for you.

    Comment by Jeremy | May 12, 2010

  13. My thoughts are with you.

    Comment by Tim | May 12, 2010

  14. Steve,

    I am deeply sorry for your loss.


    Comment by Dylan McIntosh | May 12, 2010

  15. My son, even now you as big as I, how I whish I could pick you up and put your head on my shoulder, pat your back and “Daddy’s here.” But you have a heavenly Father who is much bigger than I, and He longs to do the same. Love, Dad

    Comment by Gary Nibbelink | May 12, 2010

  16. Everyone, I’ve waited to add my own comments to this post as I didn’t want folks to think that the “Last word” had been posted.

    @Daniel – Thank I wondered what that was.
    @Jerilyn – I don’t feel strong right now but thank you.
    @Cathi – Appreciated thanks.
    @Dawn – No strangers here. 8) You became part of the club by posting.
    @Will – My condolences to you. I do know what you went through
    @Sara – Greywulf is a pretty good guy. I enjoy his blog immensely
    @Casey – I plan to keep sharing. Don’t if folks plan to keep reading but I’ll keep writing. Thanks.
    @Newbie – Thank you.
    @John – Thank you for the link.
    @Zachary – Much appreciated thanks.
    @Matt – The PITs pass along their thanks.
    @Jeremy – Thank you. Prayers are appreciated right now.
    @Tim – Thank you.
    @Dylan – Thank you for the kind words.
    @Dad – You just did. Thanks.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | May 14, 2010

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