for Pat Adair, and the people who love her...

Our beloved Pat got some shocking news recently, and we're off and running on a mysterious medical adventure. Not an adventure we would have picked, but we're off just the same... (If you're new to the blog, start here.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Pat's shocking news

This is Dave writing, Pat's youngest son. It's late on January 1st as I write this, and we're all just beginning to digest the significance of it all.

Just last week Mom was celebrating Christmas in Utah with the extended family. My brother Mike, his wife, Mary, and their two girls Courtney and Brooke flew with me and Mom to Salt Lake City, and we had a fantastic Christmas with our large family in and around Midway, Utah, near Park City.

We were all pretty tired when we got back, but Mom was so tired yesterday morning that she couldn't catch her breath on her daily walk in the park. Her friend Charlotte took her to the emergency room, and they gave her a bunch of tests. Initially they thought she'd had a mild heart attack, and from where we sit now, that would have been a welcome alternative. After multiple blood samples and a CAT scan, the prognosis is almost certainly liver cancer. Apparently, though, the cancer didn't start there, so it must have come from somewhere else, according to the oncologist, and we don't know yet where else it exists.

Mom ended up spending the night on Monday, 12/31 at John Muir hospital. Mom was sure she'd be in and out, so she didn't call until late in the evening. Mike didn't find out until 10 p.m., and I didn't get his message until just before midnight. Mike came down from Windsor, and I left my friend's house in Lake Tahoe to spend New Year's Day in the hospital, trying to make sense out of it all, and not having much luck. Mom is in pretty good spirits - maybe because she's still in shock about it all - but she's in no pain, and looks completely fine except for the yellow jaundice color of her skin.

The short-term issue is that her bile ducts are blocked, and that needs to be relieved quite soon. The longer-term problem, of course, is the cancer, and chemotherapy is likely the recommended treatment. It's too early to know yet the likelihood of a full recovery, but the initial outlook isn't good. She had another CAT scan this evening, and we'll meet with the oncologist again tomorrow for a more detailed prognosis.

It seems ridiculous to post a message about a potentially fatal disease afflicting your mother, and then focus just on the medical details, as though that somehow captures the event. It can be strangely comforting to get lost in the medical mumbo-jumbo, so you don't have to deal with the obvious: your own mother, whom you've known for your entire life plus nine months, and love dearly, is slipping through your fingers. And you can't do anything about it. I knew this would happen someday - but I only knew it in theory. I still want it to only be a theory...

I love you Mom.



At January 2, 2008 12:06 AM , Blogger Dave Adair said...

Please add your comments, and we'll get them to Pat.

At January 2, 2008 9:24 PM , Anonymous Char said...

Hi Dave,

I am still in shock about your mom. Please, we are all anxious for more information. Is she aware of everything at this point? Does she have a phone in her room? Does she want to hear from us? Are you all holding up?

Please keep us informed. This is so hard to process. And way too soon for another family loss. My heart is aching and aching for you all too.

Please let us hear from you.

Love you,

At January 2, 2008 9:26 PM , Anonymous Jeanette said...

Please tell Aunt Pat she is in our prayers and that we love her. We love all of you Adairs!

At January 6, 2008 9:08 PM , Blogger Sheri said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your health, Aunt Pat. As I was making breakfast I smiled as I remembered Dave calling you Patio. Then I read his blog today and there he was, calling you Patio again. I can never walk by patio furniture without smiling, thinking of your nutty son and the hospitality you offered my in my younger, and unfortunatly, probably not so grateful days. I am grateful and regret never saying so. Thanks for putting up with me for my brief stay with you while I was searching for myself.

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Love to you all, Sheri

At January 14, 2008 8:20 PM , Blogger Debra said...

Dave, Pat, and the rest of the family:
Can't access from work, so just got online and saw the news.

I am so very sorry; and don't worry I won't go silent.

We are all sending positive thoughts your way - Dave, I saw Dr. Lillie today and she asked how you were.... needless to say she had some very "buddhist-like" thoughts and wanted me to pass on her support and love to you and your family. One of the things she said, which I very much believe, is that it is when we are tested with the difficult stuff that we find the best parts of ourselves, and those around us. So, that said - I know you will all get through this with much love and even some happy times. [And Dave, its even more imp't for you - (and the rest of the family) - to take care of yourself, so you can best help your Mom.]

Anything I can do, even if it's a break w/ a hike or dinner, don't hesitate to call. I will keep checking in and will keep sending love and support.
written 1/9
Though I met your mom only once or twice many moons ago, I know that she has created a wonderful son, in the name of Dave: so she must be doing something VERY right, and certainly doesn't deserve any of this.

To Mom:
I am sure that having your loving family around you through this ordeal will be the silver lining that we all are looking for. You also have all of the family's friends and support, who are rooting for you with all of our prayers and good wishes.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

With love
Debra & Bill

At January 16, 2008 4:32 PM , Blogger Robert Adair said...

Dave, this is Robert Adair and eventhough I haven't seen your mother for many years she has always been on of my favorite people because of her kindness to me when I was a boy. Please tell her that we will be praying for her and for you and your Brother.

At March 22, 2008 9:05 AM , Blogger Joey said...

Reading Dave's blog just breaks my heart - I have always admired you and know how strong you are which makes me know you will move through this time with your usual grace, dignity and fabulous sense of humor. I keep thinking about how much you loved the movie "Dirty Dancing" and Patrick Swayze, I think you told me you saw it something like 20 times. It is a movie about hope and love and creating your own joy, something you have always been good at... Your enthusiasm for life has always been infectious - I am sure that is where our lovely Davemo got that particular bug. I haven't had the pleasure of spending time with you in a long time, but I think about you often, you are always in my heart, I send my love and would love see you in the near future. Hugs, Joey

At March 22, 2008 9:45 AM , Blogger Debra said...

Hey Pat - and Dave...
Lots of good thoughts and prayers from bill & i... We know that you have wonderful family and friends to help you over this latest hump.
All our love and support...
-debra & bill

At April 23, 2008 4:51 PM , Blogger Lynn said...

Hi Pat,

I haven't met you, but am a good friend of Dave's. Just wanted to let you know you've got a new set of prayers coming your way from San Francisco. Am thinking about you and hoping you feel better soon.

Love, Lynn Bruni

At April 23, 2008 7:33 PM , Blogger debra said...

Dear Pat, Dave & family,
Yes - we are all of the same mind. Agreeing w/ Lynn - more prayers coming you're way. We're all out here supporting you.
-debra & bill

At June 18, 2008 7:08 PM , Blogger debra said...

Just want you to know that we're all out here thinking of you and your family...

If your Mom wants to talk w/ me about the hip stuff - I'm available.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
With much love,
debra & bill

At June 26, 2008 8:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Pat's Sons:

I just learned last night that Pat is in the hospital and not doing well. My prayers have been with her since I first learned of her illness early this year.

May God bless all of you with his comfort and strength. I know that this if very difficult for those who love her. Sometimes we have to be thankful for the wonderful experience you have had to have her in your lives. I know how much she loves her family as she speaks of you often.

You will all continue to be in my prayers.


Karen Hammon

At June 26, 2008 9:45 AM , Blogger debra said...

To Dave and Family...
Our thoughts and prayers, along w/ the many who love you, are w/ you all.

With love
Debra & Bill

At July 4, 2008 9:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dave ,Mike and family,
I have got to know Patio through your eyes as I have never had the pleasure to do so personally.
I have loved her though and the news I have been reading almost daily have filled me with love.I wish her much peace wherever she may be.
May you all be in peace and full of the love she always gave you.
Bless you all,

At July 4, 2008 5:46 PM , Anonymous Patti said...

David, Mike and Family,
I was saddened to hear of your mother’s passing last night. I am so glad you were able to be right by her side. You are a great example of a loving, caring, devoted family. I have much love and admiration for your mom, my Aunt Pat. She was a loving, caring sister to my mother Geri. I loved and admired her sense of humor and no-nonsense style. She will be greatly missed by us all. The time spent together as a family with Pat earlier this week was a precious gift. We felt the family love so strongly. I agree with Mike, that it was a minor miracle that Geri made the trip. But we were all richly blessed by that choice experience. My deepest condolences to you on the loss of your beloved mother.
Much love, Patti


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