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The news about Dennis.
Back In the beginning A Slow Recovery In the end

Dennis has been suffering from increasing pain in his bottom and complaining of a fibrous growth in his groin. His surgeon has given him an appointment to see him for an examination. In fact when he attended the clinic, it was one of his colleagues who actually examined Dennis. He found nothing wrong and prescribed more paracetamol to help with the discomfort.
Dennis has also been to see the ward sister at the Woodland Centre where he receives his chemo, to confirm that he can begin his next weeks worth of therapy. His pain has continued to get worse and the ward sister was concerned to find some lumps.

The pain has continued to get worse, Dennis is taking morphine to help with it and is using a ring shaped cushion to allow him to sit down. Dr Tan has made an appointment with the surgeon. The surgeon, JGL, has removed the fibrous growth and taken biopsies from the lumps, one of which was described as being as large as a plum.
The dose of morphine has been increased to 30mg a day.
The wound in Dennis' groin where the growth was removed has caused some pain and discomfort and taken a long time to heal. Dennis has at last had the stitches removed after a fortnight.
Dennis has been back to see Dr Tan. The results of the biopsy are the worst possible. The lumps are all cancerous and it is the most aggressive form. The chemo therapy was not working and it has been decided to abandon that course of treatment. We are waiting for the deliberations of the multi skill team to pronounce on their recommended alternatives. In short, the family are dismayed and are preparing for the worst. Jonathan has set up a computer in their apartment and Dennis is now writing his memoirs. He finds that having an occupation helps to distract him from his situation.

It is now clear that Dennis' cancer is metastatic. It is evident throughout his pelvic region and may have reached his liver and lungs. This means that no chemo therapy would be effective, no radio therapy would find a target and no surgery would ever remove the multitude of tumours. His pain has grown steadily worse. He has given up trying to drive his car.
Meanwhile, Rae has had her operation and has been given the all clear. The family visited her in Addenbrooks Hospital..

Easter Monday, April 21st.
Dennis got up to use the loo just before 8am. It became apparent shortly after that he had had a fall in the bathroom and could not get up. An ambulance was called and the assessment of the medics was that Dennis had had a stroke. He was admitted to Hinchingbrooke Hospital around 9am.
It appears that the stroke is quite dense. Affecting the left half of his brain, it has compromised all motor function in his right side. The left half of the brain also controls speech. Dennis has been left paralyzed down his right side and unable to speak.
He has spent 24 hours in the Medical Assessment Unit before being moved to Larch Ward. It is anticipated that he will have a CT scan to gauge the extent of the stroke and determine whether he has suffered any damage from the fall.

April 22nd.
He has shown a little improvement. He was able to open his eyes and look to see who is calling his name. When it was time for Rae to leave she asked him to "giz a kiss" and he puckered up. He nodded when she and Jonathan said they'd see him the next day.

April 23rd.
He is much less responsive than yesterday. It has been decided that the normal CT scan would not reveal anything that would help and would distress Dennis as he would have to be held still and will not therefore be carried out. He no longer appears to be aware of people speaking to him although he still responds to physical stimuli such as having his feet tickled.

April 24th.

His breathing is worse than yesterday, he now has fluid on the lungs. He is really very poorly, the prognosis is that he is expected to die within a matter of days. He was able to open his eyes when is pillows were rearranged to make him more comfortable. He looked as if to see who was there and may have been able to recognise his son Jonathan. His morphine is being injected via a pump which means he won't forget to take it, as had happened on one or two occasions, and will level out the peaks and troughs. He is quite comfortable. Dennis' cousin Paula rang the ward to ask that they contact a priest.
This is a link to a recent photo. Although it doesn't show anything in any way graphic, it does not show him in his best light and you may decide you do not need to follow it.

April 25th.
The hospital rang Rae and Jonathan this morning at around 8am. Dennis had a difficult night, very restless and his breathing had changed for the worse. Rae and Jonathan arrived in the ward just after 9am. The ward sister explained that they were just giving Dennis a wash and making him more comfortable and asked them to have a seat in the Day Room for a couple of minutes. Dennis passed away in those few minutes. Fortunately the hospital had been able to contact a priest who had come and administered the last rights during the night.

May 8th
Dennis' funeral. Read the eulogy.

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Copyright Jon Young 2005. Last updated 13/11/2006.