October 06, 2012

David Emerson

Kansas City Hospice House, Room #6, Friday, October 5, 2012, 2:15 PM

As I sit at my husband's bedside, I contemplate who the man David Emerson is. The man that I have shared half my life with. A man who frequently completed my sentences and I his. We often laughed at our ability to read each other's minds. Always on the same wavelength. It is a wonderful gift to have a connection with someone like that in your lifetime.

So who was David Emerson? He was a kind, patient, generous man, never judgemental or pretentious. He worked hard for his accomplishments and was proud of them. He loved sports, both as a participant, and as a fan. He loved to travel. He loved a wide variety of music and often found comfort through his interpretations. He loved technology. He loved the change of seasons. First and foremost, he loved his family and friends.

He was a man of faith. The greatest testament to his faith was the example he set as a husband, father, son, nephew, brother, uncle, great uncle, friend and confidante to many. Another amazing example of David's faith was the way he chose to accept his advanced prostate cancer diagnosis. He turned to God and tried to understand the purpose of this circumstance. He valiently fought not only his personal battle, but chose to pursue the battle on behalf of men fighting the disease, as well as all men who had the potential to be at risk. He was passionate about sharing his knowledge and the raw emotions of his personal experience.

Through the blog, David was able to reach out to the many touched by prostate cancer all over the world. He always appreciated the  comments he received from his posts. He made good friends through this medium as well. David was an inspiration, a hero, a kind, loving, genuine spirit. He created a legacy that his family and friends take great pride in. The world is a better place for having had David Emerson a part of it. He will be greatly missed. God bless you David.


A Memorial Mass is planned for Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM at
St. Michael the Archangel Church, 14201 Nall Avenue Leawood, KS 66223
A reception to celebrate David's life will immediately follow in Fr. Porter Hall.

October 02, 2012

A Long and Winding Road

As David and I are sitting in room 4224 at KU Medical Center, we are discussing the long and winding road that has been our journey in the battle against advanced prostate cancer. The last 12 months have undoubtedly been the steepest, most challenging terrain that we have endured.

David has been in the hospital since Thursday, September 20th. Liquid that was accumulating around his left lung was causing severe respiratory distress. He had over a liter of fluid drained, and in 4 days, had to have yet another liter removed. Anticipating this could be an on-going issue, we had a catheter placed below his left breast that allows us to drain the fluid as needed. After numerous tests, scans, xrays, etc. we were told that cancerous tumors have spread throughout his chest. These tumors are a main cause of the edema that he has been battling for months. The tumors are putting pressure on organs and his lymphatic system, which explains the fluid retention. Due to the strenuous testing schedule David has followed this past week, he has been reduced to ice chips. A swallow study revealed that due a combination of the advancement of the cancer and the physical weakness of his body from not being able to eat this past week, he is at risk for aspirating or developing pnemonia, if he swallows and the food/drink trails down his air pipe into his lungs. We have been trying to do tongue and throat exercises to strenghten the muscles, hoping that he will begin to start eating thickened liquids and soft solids. We stopped the MDV3100 regimen and were considering a chemo treatment. After careful consideration, we decided that the risks of the treatment would far outweigh any potential benefit.

We are prepared to make a transition to a new level of care at the Kansas City Hospice House. For reference follow this link to see the site, which contains a virtual tour as well, www.kansascityhospice.org. The Hospice House is a wonderful facility that was designed to provide patients and their families comfort and medical attention once they decide not to pursue further treatment for their disease. While this was a decision we did not want to have to make, we are comfortable that it is the right choice for our family. We would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support that we have received over these very difficult days and ask for your continued prayers that David may continue to be comfortable and that we may spend many more days together.