My husband of 46 years, father of Drew and Kirsty, father-in-law of Kylie and Mark, grandfather to Robbie, Cameron, Liam and Daisy was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2014. He was not a smoker.
Andy, following medical advice, had one third of his right lung removed and endured chemotherapy and chemo-radiation therapy. In June 2015 he had check-up scans to be told his cancer, while no longer obvious in his lung, had spread to his duodenum, adrenal glands, lymph nodes in his back, and his liver.
He had also developed a clotting disorder following chemotherapy and had bilateral pulmonary embolisms, and clots in his arms and legs. We were both devastated, and Andy was exhausted and in pain.
After long discussion and serious consideration Andy declined further treatment. He came to terms with his prognosis and imminent death, probably more quickly than we, his family, did. We discussed travelling to a jurisdiction where he could assist the process of dying, but he was too weak and ill to contemplate the journey.
"Andy decided to stop eating and shortly afterwards severely reduced his fluid intake, this was the only path open to him to bring his life to a close."
We fully supported him, as did the Silver Chain organisation who helped us keep him as comfortable as possible while his body finally gave up.
He was mentally incredibly strong and positive, and among other things, we spoke about how we as a society show more compassion to our animals than we do to our human loved ones (we had both sat with our old dog a few years previously while the vet gave him an injection to end his life so peacefully).
"It took three weeks for Andy to pass away."
He wished there was a way he could have been given help to finish his life much earlier, and had researched taking his own life to that end.
It was the most difficult time of my life to watch my beautiful and loved husband slowly and painfully succumb. I felt helpless and that feeling is still with me today when I think of the final days of his life. It should not have been so hard for him to go.
Andy’s legacy is our children and grandchildren, he was a loving and very loved Dad and Grandad. We cherish the memories we have of him, so full of life, humour and love.
With love and good memories,
Sandra Rose, August 2016