I was Richard Rawlings Caregiver...

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I am Sheree Krider and was Richard J. Rawlings primary caregiver during his last year of life

I was also his Fiance though we were never able to complete those vows before he died.   

In April of 2012 Richard was hospitalized in IL for a day after collapsing from exhaustion.  Shortly After he was released from there he came home with me to Kentucky but refused to immediately follow up his care - He already knew he had throat cancer and didnt/wouldnt deal with it until after his birthday he told me.  On July 20th, 2012 he turned 51 years old - much too young to die. 

On July 22nd he finally agreed to let me take him to hospital because by that time he could barely get his breath and had no voice.  He was in TJ Samson Hospital in Glasgow Ky for two weeks where they treated him and placed his trach so he could at least breathe again. At the time they placed the trach he had only a 5% airway left.  His diagnosis at the time we left the hospital was Stage 4 Throat, Lung and Adrenal Cancer which was particularly aggressive. He was a terminal patient given 6 months to 16 months - provided the Chemo worked. 

At that time we went back to IL to begin the fight for his life.  IL Cancer Care - Dr. Fishkin was his Oncologist.  We discussed his options and since the cancer was so aggressive He decided to go with the Chemo along with the "OIL".  I was supplied with "OIL" for him during his entire ordeal at no charge.  It was very good and helped dramatically with symptom control. 

The first round of Chemo did in fact reduce the throat cancer and his voice returned to near normal for several months before it became worse again near the end.  The "OIL" made his suffering much less than it would have been with only Hospice Drugs. He never even used Morphine until the last six weeks. 

The last Scan that was done before his death showed that the cancer had stubbornly continued to grow and was taking over quickly.  That is when Chemo was stopped and Hospice was called in.  By then he was in serious pain and needed Morphine for pain. 

Richard was rather docile during the last year.  He never complained much with the exception of a couple of times he was in acute pain - which was remedied pretty quickly.  On Saturday the 23rd of February He spent the entire day "visiting" everyone in the house.  His Son Richie, His sisters-Rae, Ragan Kandy and Robin, his Mother and myself letting us all know how much he loved us.  By 7pm that evening his Heart was working overtime and his chest was pounding....I went to him and told him he had to lay down and rest his heart.  We helped him back to his "bed" on his "couch" that he loved so much...He immediately laid down and fell asleep....never to awaken again. 

At approximately 12:07 am on Sunday morning of the 24th Richard took his last breath and passed out of this world.  I and his family were at his side.  He had vowed to never die on a Saturday and He meant it.  He accomplished this by only seven minutes - but he did it. 

It was quite dramatic for all of us.  I loved him very much and still do.  A gaping hole in my Heart will exist forever.  But I am grateful that if it had to happen at least I was there to take care of him. 

The "OIL" was provided throughout - at no charge.  As I said before, it was quite helpful throughout his ordeal for comfort and symptomatic uses.  It IS possible it may have helped for a while with the throat cancer though I cannot confirm this.  By the time Richard's cancer was diagnosed it was already too late for a cure.  Maybe, just maybe, if he had went to the Doctor 3 years ago when I first knew he was sick there may have been a better outcome.  That we will never know. 

Our generation has become the guinea pigs for cannabis oil medications.  Maybe with all the documentation of these experiences one day our children may have a better life because of it - I pray so.  I also want to say that IL Hospice was very good to us and they knew of his Cannabis use.  Not a word was spoken against it by them - they had seen it help other patients too. 

Where do we go from here?  Where do I go? 

The last 3 years of my life have been quite heart wrenching and I am tired.  We shall see what happens next in the world of Cannabis Medicines.  I pray what we all have done will make the future better.  Maybe it will - Maybe it wont but at least we tried. 

Much Thanks to my friend Ronnie Smith for his support during this time.  May God Bless Us All With Newfound Knowledge......Smk.

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