I am sorry to say I have some sad news to share with you.
My beloved husband and publishing partner, Al Driver, went into surgery around 9 p.m. on Thursday, December 17th. The purpose of the surgery was to get rid of the blockage in his bowel that has been causing him pain and preventing him from eating since he went to the hospital on Monday, December 7th. Around midnight on Thursday, he went into the recovery room after the surgery.
On Friday, December 18th, the surgeon (who also did Al's first surgery on August 20th and found the Stage IV colon cancer with a spot on his liver) told us that this bowel blockage was caused by multiple tiny tumours that have adhered to Al's bowel and are too small to show up on a CT scan. She could not remove the tumours because they are too attached to Al's bowel and she would have to cut the tumour or his bowel, which are not good options.
The tumours are on the site where the cancer was removed in August. There are also tumours on the lining of his abdomen. There was nothing the surgeon could do from a surgical perspective so, after three hours of exploring and trying to come up with a way to solve the problem, she closed Al up again because nothing more could be done.
The surgeon then spoke to Al's oncologist, and the oncologist said that neither chemotherapy nor radiation therapy are options. So there is nothing more that can be done. Al described it as “our last hope was severed.” Blunt but true.
Since Friday afternoon, our family has been reeling from this news but we are quickly gathering our strength (remembering Dionne Warner's 24-hour rule) to make Al’s last days on this earth as comfortable as possible. He has moved from surgery and oncology into palliative care, which focuses more on the comfort of the patient and quality of life rather than healing and curing.
He is in discomfort physically at times and last night, we were told he only has days left on this earth.
Our hearts are breaking, but we know he will always be with us. God just needs another angel to spread love and hope in the world. Our Al will do that in his fine, deeply compassionate, humour-filled fashion.
Mentally, he is at peace with the situation. Unfortunately, he has had a lot of time to think about this possibility during these past four months of illness. He is hoping to be strong enough to be released from the hospital in the next few days so he is able to spend Christmas at home with our family. We will do everything we can to help him fulfill that goal and any others he has set. He is a strong, brave, wonderful man. We will cherish the moments we have left with him.
It occurred to me this past weekend that Al and I are "story people" so, without Al's knowledge but with the blessing of our children, I invited people to share a favourite story or memory they have of Al and/or what he has meant to them ... so that Al can enjoy these special memories and sentiments while he is alive.
I called this a “submission request,” just as we have done with some of our anthologies. Ha ha! We plan to later compile these memories for our children, grandchildren, and family members yet to come. Everyone is welcome to share a story about Al. You can send your "Submission About Al" to me via the email address on our web page. Thank you in advance.
As has been our desire all along, you are welcome to share this information about Al's health with others so they too can keep Al and our family and friends in their prayers.
We cherish all of you who have supported us, our family, and our publishing business. Thank you.
|At the hospital with our son Dave and|
our daughters Dani (left) and Lisa.
Despite these being among the darkest days of our lives, we wish you and your family a happy holiday season.
We plan to enjoy these next few hours, days or whatever time we have with Al. Cancer may take his life, but there is so much that it cannot do.
What Cancer Cannot Do
Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.
In love and peace,
Deana and family