My Cancer Story

Transition to Hospice

Posted 9 June 2016

This is a short post so I can update everyone without more delay. With anemia and an assortment of pain meds, it has become challenging to maintain enough wakefulness to write.

Tuesday morning I awoke needing to go to the bathroom, and found a lot of blood in the toilet bowl. There were two more similar incidents before noon.

I’ll spare you the details, but the bottom line is that I had an active GI bleed. I had been set up to get another two units of blood, but with the active bleed, they canceled that transfusion.

At this point, around noon, there was deep concern apparent on everyone’s faces. One doctor wanted to send me to the ICU, but I didn’t actually qualify until another major crisis came on.

I think the prevailing view of the doctors was that there was a high chance I would keep bleeding until the end came. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

Tuesday afternoon is something of a blur. I decided to go on Hospice; I did not want to die in a hospital, and they weren’t going to send me home as a regular hospital patient in the condition I was in.

I am now comfortably resting at home, and the bleeding seems to have stopped. It takes up to 3 days for everything in your intestines to find its way to the exit, so I will know in a day or two if the bleeding has continued.

Tomorrow (Friday) afternoon, I’m going to get 2 units of blood in the outpatient unit at Sutter Hospital. This transfusion should greatly improve my anemia, which would be a good quality-of-life improvement.


Suzie Heumann

Dear Michael,
Thank you for your raw, real testimony to “the body” and its insistence to having its way. Your lucidity throughout your journey is amazing and refreshing and instructional. The “gift” for us, who will eventually be where you are now, is profound and visceral for me, currently.
Thank you for the bigness of your heart and mind! You are a blessing!
Do you think the garden party is going to happen? I was looking forward to seeing you!

AnnMarie Ginella

Michael – Your silent beauty wasn’t quiet when I saw you with Irene and Amanda – which is where I always saw you. Your love was loudly displayed in your being. Your heart reflected your beauty. You are a good man. Your family was honored to have you be there for them, all along. You will be remembered and cherished in eternity now. Blessings on your journey. Blessings on your smile. We have all been blessed to know you.

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