A very hard update

by | Jun 21, 2022

Hello friends. This is going to be a hard post.
Tara was in the hospital for two weeks in May. During that stay we were told she only had a few weeks to live. Tara wanted to keep that quiet so only a few close friends knew.
If we haven’t reached out personally with the news, we apologize. It’s been a whirlwind.
We got Tara home and she was doing pretty well. We got out for some very short walks and Tara was perfectly fine cognitively. So, pretty good week one.
Week two was Luke’s graduation and we were able to get Tara to the graduation. She was still sharp and, even though she needed to use a walked to get from the car to the stadium, she made it easily. She got to see “her baby” walk up and get his diploma.
Tara’s mom and brother were here for week three (last week – June 13-19) which turned out to be a blessing. Tara was pretty good early in the week. We were able to get downstairs in the morning so she could spend time with her mom and brother. She was sleeping a lot during the day and was up all night…seriously, all night.
As the week went on she started to decline pretty quickly. Tara’s older brother and his wife were here on Saturday evening so she had her family around her. She was in and out of sleep during the visit.
Saturday night was HARD…VERY HARD. From the moment I got her to bed at 8:30 until about 5:30 she was constantly moving, moaning and calling out. She wanted to go to the bathroom but when we got to the toilet she wanted to go back to bed. We barely made it. A little while later she wanted to go again before getting to the foot of the bed and crumbling. I was able to get her her in bed but that was tough.
Throughout the night I tried to keep her in bed so she wouldn’t fall. She wasn’t too cooperative as her cognitive abilities had slipped far. She sat on the edge of the bed at one point and slid off..time to get her back in bed again. Around 4:30am I woke up (if I was even really asleep) in time to turn on the light to see her standing up briefly before falling hard. I got her up and back in bed again.
When I got out of bed on Sunday morning, her mom, brother and I talked and decided it was time to stop her IV nutrition and seek comfort. It was a hard – but the right – decision. I called the hospice nurse who had been here and she said that based on the change she saw in 24 hours that we were making the right decision.
Things had moved so fast the we had just had intake with hospice on Friday evening. The intake nurse was back on Saturday for vitals and a check up. As I mentioned, when I called the nurse on Sunday she told me that we were indeed making the right decision for Tara.
Sunday was tough and we were able to have some close friends visit. Monday was about the same. A visit from her pastor, a call to start funeral arrangements, what seemed like a million calls & texts, and visits from 8 or 9 friends. Luke and Brooke were here and able to spend a bunch of time with Tara.
It’s Tuesday morning and Tara has slipped even further. I don’t know how much time she has but hope for her that it is mercifully short.
For now, we don’t need anything in the way of food or help. We’ll keep everyone posted with needs.
If I wasn’t able to reach out to you personally I apologize. The speed of Tara’s decline made it hard to reach out to everyone.
Some important things –
No flowers, please. Seriously, no flowers. Tara hasn’t wanted them around since the diagnosis. If you sent or dropped off flowers, thank you. We know that love was in each and every petal.
With Tara’s family, we’re working on finding the right organization for donations. Tara’s primary cancer was appendix. Only about 1000 people in the US are diagnosed with appendix cancer so we’re looking at rare cancer charities. We have some to wade through so we’re set on possible organizations.
No more visitors for now. Some people are coming today so the schedule is full.
Without nutrition or hydration Tara’s time left before she’s free of this fucking disease is short. We don’t know how long but it will be measured in days if not hours.
If you call, text, or message know that you likely won’t receive a response, at least right away. I’m managing Tara’s phone and my phone. The volume of love is absolutely beautiful…but overwhelming.
Send up prayers, good vibes, entreaties to the universe that her remaining time is easy and relatively pain free.
Thank you for the love and support. We expected more time as Tara’s original prognosis was 2-3 years and probably more. Less than a year is shocking, terrible, and a million other not fun adjectives.
Stay tuned for more news as it comes.


  1. Nancy L Smith

    Oh God, please give Tara comfort and peace, as she transitions into your arms. We don’t want to lose her but we have to have faith that you have other plans. Please
    comfort the kids, give them strength to move forward and to be all they can in loving
    memory of their mom. For all those caring for Tara , strengthen them and give them a peace knowing that the decisions made are the right ones for Tara. We don’t understand why this happened to Tara, who was the picture of health, help us all
    to feel your presence in this difficult time. In your name I pray Amen

    • Eric

      Nancy – These words are so so beautiful. She admired you so much. Hearts are broken but we have so many great memories, and for me (Eric) memories of so many miles and laps in the pool.

  2. Shannon Hays

    Praying for God’s comfort for Tara and her family.

  3. Kathy

    Always a smile and always loving her workouts. She was always Y comrade. God bless all of you.


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Please send donations in Tara's memory to:

The Appendix Cancer Pseudomyxoma Peritonei Research Foundation or a charity that is important to you.