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Pat Hinkley


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I have not posted here for awhile but decided it was time to come share my sad news with you. My mom Pat Hinkley died peacefully at home sitting in her recliner with her family and pets around her on Nov. 25, 2006.

My mom's battle with NSCLC began with a pleural effusion in June 2004. Mom put up a good fight and never wasted a moment feeling sorry for herself.

Last year the Tarceva kicked some major cancer butt and as a result my mom died with no active cancer in her lungs so she did not have any symptoms that one usually sees with lung cancer for well over 1.5 yrs. Ours was a battle with liver mets but at the end it was not liver failure that killed her like we were all expecting.

Mom stopped chemo in Oct. Feeling that the chemo would kill her before the cancer did. She had gotten a tooth infection and had the tooth pulled that was sort of the start of a downward spiral.That was when she decided she had had enough and told the doctor "no more Chemo". She was so weak from her last chemo and that tooth infection and she just never bounced back but instead got weaker and weaker as she quit eating. We started her on steroids and that had her eating again and drinking more but her strength never returned.She had started Hospice care and the doctor figured she would last a a month or two but he was wrong.

I was able to get her to eat some Thanksgiving dinner at the table with us on Thanksgiving, so we had one last Thanksgiving with her. The day she died she had eaten lunch.The day had started out ok.

I work as a respiratory therapist and have done so for 25 yrs and that morning I never imagined my mom would be dead by bed time but she was.

My sister had gotten a fake christmas tree that morning thinking my mom would enjoy looking at it. We were planning on putting on some christmas music,popping some popcorn and decorating the tree that evening. I left to do some shopping feeling sort of excited about the evening to come but to my surprize when I arrived back at the house my sister met me out front to tell me the hospice nurse was there and said my mom would not survive the night and she was right as just before 10 PM she took her last breath and continued on her spirits journey.

After hearing from my sister the chain of events of that afternoon I think my mom developed a pulmonary embolism (blood clot to her lungs) and died of the hypoxia (lack of oxygen in her blood) that it then caused.

While a shock it may have been a blessing as it was a peaceful death as we gave her ativan and morphine only one dose of each but that relaxed her breathing. And of course oxygen.Death by liver failure can be painful so right now I am glad we did not have to watch her go through that. She is at peace now dancing with her sister and all her friends from her USO days that had passed before her.

She had 82 good years which is more then alot of people get.I don't think she had any regrets and being that she was a non smoker that even applies to the fact she got the cancer.She did all she could to live a healthy life and death is a part a healthy life too.

She will be greatly missed and I am only too glad that I had her as my mom as she was a great woman. I am trying to continue on in a positive way as that is what she would have wanted. We are waiting until after the holidays and plan to have a celebration of life type memorial as that is what she would have wanted.

The hardest part is watching my dad find his way alone as at 82 this is difficult for him. I am taking a few weeks of vacation to stay with him and get the house organized so he can find things. It will be hard to leave to go home when I do.

The one dog has lupus and he has had a major flare up due to the stress of all of this so I am his nurse right now.It was interesting watching the animals when she was dieing as they all seemed to know and dealt with it in their own ways.

:lol: I have told my sister it was her fault as mom never like fake christmas trees, she always wanted a real tree. I said she opened her eyes took one look at the tree and said "what is that fake tree doing in MY house? If you girls think I am going to have a fake tree this year you are wrong as I am out of here" :lol: Yes there is humor after death.

I would like to end this by saying Thanks for life and the memories Mom. You were the best. Now go dance. Dance, Mom dance.

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Thanks for sharing your sadn and joyful story of your mom's passing and the things she loved in life.

You are very all very special to have been able to love such a wonderful woman.

May your closeness help you in healing from this loss.

Much love,


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I am deeply sorry that your Mom has lost her battle, although I do believe she won the fight!! Your tribute to her was beautiful.... and your closing words "Dance Mom, Dance" well, they just touched me... and I am very sure she is!!

Much Love, Sharon

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