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Gary's journey is drawing to an end

I think this is the second most feared journal update I was afraid I would one day have to post. I think the most feared will be in a day or two.
Gary has been full-out battling fungal pneumonia for the past two days. I think it will come as a surprise to most of you, it certainly crept up on us. Yesterday (Monday) morning, Gary had to be placed on an oxygen mask to help him breathe. It became a bigger and bigger struggle for him to catch his breath throughout the day. Although he has been on anti-fungal medication since they first suspected the pneumonia five days ago, Gary's lack of immune system is not allowing him to recover. I was able to have many lucid conversations with Gary late last night and early into this morning. We knew we were rapidly approaching a crossroads where Gary either needed to be intubated in order to continue to get him oxygen or he needed to go on a morphine drip to control his gasping breath and very high heart rate. Gary and I had made this decision long before he became sick in our health care directives. After being able to discuss it with Gary last night, we elected to put him on the morphine and get him comfortable and prepare for his eventual death. The doctors assured me that if we did choose to intubate him, he would die on the machine as his other organs would soon begin to fail as well.

Gary is now pain free, struggle free and deep aspleep on the morphine. As the pneumonia progresses he will get less and less oxygen to his blood and organs and they will being to fail. His death will be in his sleep. The doctors say maybe a day or two. I hope for a short duration.

We may wonder how I can compose this posting and I don't know how I'm doing it myself. I've just gotten home to shower and head back to the hosptial for the night. Gary and I are surrounded by friends and family who love us and are grieving the loss we will soon face.

I will expound upon our long journey in later updates, and we can all wonder at Gary strength and resilience another time. I am in the process of thinking about funeral arrangements, and I am blessed to know that many times Gary had the clarity of mind to tell me his exact wishes, and so many decisions will be easy for me. I'm numb and I'm functioning and we'll see how far that gets me. Don't be mad at God or the world. No need to ask why all this happened. Gary never did.

Sketchy plans for the future will include a Celebration Extravaganza, to remember Gary, meet up with old friends, and have a good excuse to throw a party.

You can't know what cancer is like until you are in the thick of it. I don't know why God chose Gary and I to fight this fight, but maybe one day we will all gain some clarity and be deeply changed by Gary's presence in all of our lives.

All our love,
Gary and Marcy Galloway

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Posted by: Marcy on Dec 30, 03 | 4:49 pm | Profile

COMMENTS

From Steve Sears, an old friend...

My prayers are with you and your family. Gary, you helped me immensely when we spent lots of time together almost a decade ago. I'll never forget you, and hope we'll have a chance to meet again.


Posted by: Steve Sears on Dec 30, 03 | 10:17 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with you Marcy, Gary and your children. Gary, I'm glad I got to know you, however briefly, back so long ago, in the early Terp days. You left a strong impression and a positive impact on my own life. I'm glad to know that you are surrounded by your most beloved ones, in this darkest of times. Thank you for all the good you provided in this world.


Posted by: MimiAmsterdam on Dec 31, 03 | 3:57 am

My thoughts and prayers are with you Gary, Marcy, and the kids. Though I only briefly met Gary on a project quite some time ago, I could immediately tell he had a postive aurora that would light up a room. It is people like Gary that keep the world spinning and laughing.


Posted by: Weav on Dec 31, 03 | 7:32 am


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