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kimblanchard

Mike' gone home

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For those of you who don't know - Mike passed away at 10:35 am on Monday, June 23rd.

On Sunday morning when I got to the hospital, Mike was a little more coherent, but weaker overall. The blood draw they took on Sunday morning revealed that his white cell count was still going up. I knew that wasn't good. However, his hemoglobin had gone up and his sodium and potassium levels were normal so that was somewhat encouraging. His oxygen level in his blood was always between 95 and 97. We talked a little and I put him in the wheelchair and took him for a ride. He was very weak and very tired. He didn't talk much but did seem to know what was being said.

When I put him back to bed I told him, just so he would remember, I explained what was happening to him. I explained about the infection and that they were hoping to switch him to oral medications. He looked at me and said "Shannon." I waited...."Shannon" I said "Yes honey." Then he said "Let me go". Not quite sure what he was referring to I asked him if he wanted to go to Tulsa and he just shut his eyes. Then I asked if he still wanted to go to Tulsa and he said "Not today." I said "okay, sweetheart, you just rest we will worry about that later." As the day progressed, he seemed "clearer" in his mind, but more and more "sick". He didn't have pain, he just felt lousy.

Mike's heart rate had been increasing over that last 24 hour period and even though his oxygen levels in his blood were still 97, they had given him a breathing treatment Saturday night as he was breathing short and shallow. He also was running a low grade fever and yet was very cold and clammy.

At about 10:00 pm, Katie was leaving and she asked her dad, "Do you want me to go to work tomorrow?" He said "No." Then he turned to me and said "Are you staying here?" I said I was staying the night with him. All night long he watched the mediation channel on TV. I asked if he wanted it turned off and he said no.

In the morning about 6:00, I got up and asked him if he wanted something to eat or drink - he said he did. Then the nurses came in to change his gown and clean him up. I gave him a kiss and told him I would go out for a while to make a phone call and I'd be right back. He said "Okay Honey, see you later." Those were his last words to me.

At 6:50 am when I came back into the room, there was a definite change. His heart rate had dropped to about 40 and his respiration was very shallow. The nurse came in and said "I'm so sorry - you had better call your daughter, I don't believe he is going to make it." I called Katie, Patrick, my mom and dad, our friends and our pastor.

I made several calls and three and one half hours later, with no pain, no struggle for breath...Mike entered into his next life. My mom, dad and Katie were there as well as our friends....Reta, Rachel, Vickie and David, Terry (Mike's friend from the cemetery & funeral home) and our pastor. We sang to him, held his hand, prayed over him and watched as he breathed his last. He was ready to go and their was no struggle.

When last Friday, God worked in mysterious and quick ways to pull a possible trip to Tulsa together, the only "missing piece" to the puzzle was Mike...Remember me saying that? Well - It's obvious God's picture was going to have a different final outcome.

God chose to comfort me and Mike by allowing us to have HOPE until the end and to allow the end come quickly, easy and painlessly. God is truly faithful.

We will be having a prayer service on Saturday night at 7:00 pm at Chapel Hill Funeral Home, 4201 E 10th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57103. Visitation will be from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm with a prayer service at 7:00 pm.

The funeral service will be held at our church, Abiding Savior Free Lutheran Church, 4900 S Bahnson Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57110 at 2:30 pm on Sunday, June 29th.

Thank you for all your prayers and your support during this past 18 months. It's been a long and arduous trial....but one I was privileged to take with Mike...one of the strongest, bravest and best men I have ever known. I was privileged to be his wife.

Love and hugs,

Shannon - And both Mike and I are still smiling....

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Guest Tim'sKathy

Shannon.....

I am having a hard time typing this as the tears just won't stop coming...you are an amazing woman and I felt that I knew Mike from all your posts. I just can't seem to find the words to tell you how I feel for you and your family...I'm sorry just isn't enough.

At least Mike is out of pain and in a much better place. I know he will always be with you and you with him.

I am so angry at this damn disease that is stealing people away from us way too soon.

If there is anything at all I can do, if you ever need to talk,....know that I am here. You have been such an inspiration to me.

May God hold Mike in his arms....

Love,

Kathy & TIm

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Guest Tim'sKathy

Shannon.....

I am having a hard time typing this as the tears just won't stop coming...you are an amazing woman and I felt that I knew Mike from all your posts. I just can't seem to find the words to tell you how I feel for you and your family...I'm sorry just isn't enough.

At least Mike is out of pain and in a much better place. I know he will always be with you and you with him.

I am so angry at this damn disease that is stealing people away from us way too soon.

If there is anything at all I can do, if you ever need to talk,....know that I am here. You have been such an inspiration to me.

May God hold Mike in his arms....

Love,

Kathy & TIm

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Shannon, I am so sorry for your loss...you and Mike are still awe-inspiring. You have been in my thoughts and prayers, and will continue to be. I just don't know what to say. I cannot be there with you in person, but please know that I am with you in spirit...and Mike will be with you always, too.. Deb

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Shannon, there are no words. Except that you have given us all hope, strenth and courage as we face this disease. My the Lord bless you and keep you and grant you peace

gail

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Dear Shannon

There are no words that are adequate right now. I am so sorry, I feel like I knew you and Mike so well from your postings. I feel like I have lost a close friend. He fought the good fight and you never gave up. May God comfort you now and in the future.

Bess B

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Shannon,

I am so sorry. I have followed your story and I thought the two of you would win this fight on determination alone.

Mike has gone home. I am glad that he was able to go in such a peaceful way. If we really understood how close our loved ones are who have crossed that path, we wouldn't be as lonely for them. They are still with us in a real sence.

Thanks for sharing your Mike with us, he is amazing. He has so much love for you and that will never change.

Prayers and Positive Thoughts, Shelly

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Throughout your LC journey with Mike you were dauntless...and you remain so. May your faith and love and devotion for Mike sustain you. Thank you for your eloquent reprisal of Mike's last days...you have been so strong. Praying and crying for you, even as I know Mike is in a safe place and at peace.

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I dont know what words to type through my tears. It is amazing to feel so much for people we have not met in person. I truly am so so very sorry, dear Shannon. Your faith in God is such an inspiration, I cannot tell you how much I admire you. Prayers, hugs, and love coming your way tonight.

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Shannon, I'm very sorry for your loss. You and Mike gave it a good fight and Mike knows that you were with him to the end. I'm sure it gave him a feeling of peace and comfort. Take care.

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Shannon ---so sorry for your tremendous loss

please know that you did all that you could possibly do

with deepest sympathy

Eileen

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I grieve deeply for your loss.

I'm not a sentimental man, but when you wrote of Mike asking you to let him go my eyes filled with tears. I could only think of my wife asking me that same sad final request.

Again, I am sorry to hear of your loss.

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Shannon,

I am so very sorry for the loss of your Mikey. You both were a huge source of inspiration and comfort to me when I read your posts. Words just aren't enough at a time like this.

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Shannon,

I sit here at work trying not to ball my eyes out. I always showed my wife your posts and explained to her what kind of warriors you guys were. And it always seemed that no matter what you guys were going thru you always had time to respond to others online. I try to model my own courage and strength after Mikes. He was a fighter and yet he knew how to prepare himself emotionally and spiritually. It seemed that he was willing to fight the fight but yet prepared himself for the worst. I LOVE YOU GUYS.

As it was once said death is not an end, it’s a beginning. Someone ask do people that pass away miss us as much as we miss them. And the answer was No, because they are always with us.

Mike is with you Shannon

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I am so very, very sorry to hear of your loss, your touching story has left me choked up and I feel devestated for you. I wish we could do magic and make this horrible disease go away forever, I pray you find peace and comfort soon, you two were (are) so very much in love with each other, I could tell in every post you sent. My prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. I hope you will not leave us as you go through this...here on this board you are never alone. I wish I could send healing energy your way, you are in my thoughts.

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Shannon - May God grant you the strength to get through the difficult days ahead. Having lost my first husband at the hands of a drunk driver I know the pain you are feeling. Please remember that as long as you have the memories of your life with Mike he is never gone.

If there is anything I can do please let me know. If you feel like talking to someone, day or night, just come here and you will be among family.

Bonnie

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Shannon,

I was so very sorry to hear of your loss. Like many others, I am writing this through many tears. I only came to the board about 2 months ago and have followed your postings closely. I felt your deep love for your husband and you can take some comfort in knowing that you did everything possible for him. He knew this too.

My deepest sympathy--

Gail P-M

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