Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Taylor Siluwe: My Love, My Heart, My Hubby

(Taylor and Bay [his mother])

For those that don't know, Sunday afternoon June 19,2011 (Father's Day) my fiance Taylor Siluwe passed away in our home.  It doesn't seem at all real. 
We learned of his Cancer at the end of April.  Understandable the initial shock was jarring but we were all on board to fight this with all of our might.  We set up an appointment with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  We didn't end up there.

I can't remember what day it was that I was going to run errands but I'm glad that I didn't.  I walked upstairs to the bed room and found him sitting on the bed unresponsive with drool coming out of his mouth.  I asked him to speak to me, to say my name, and the gibberish that come out nearly scared me to death.  I called 911 and had them come get him.  Darryl contacted his cousin and mother for me. :) his mother beat us to the hospital.  The paramedics assumed that he tried to commit suicide which was clearly not the case.  In the ER he had a seizure and I thought he was going to die then.  the thrashing the scream that was coming out of his mouth is still so very haunting.  

Fast forward he was back to doing fine.  He was in the hospital for a while talking, laughing but he was in pain.   His back was killing him.  

Fast forward, he's home. We set up a nurse to come.  I'm taking care of him, handling the medication, trying to feed him, trying to deal with his pain.  It was hard very very hard.  Watching him deteriorate was harder than anything else.  The constant vomiting, dehydration, lack of sleep and this is all before his 1 week of chemotherapy. 

Fast forward, A week of chemotherapy at Christ Hospital.  He put on a smile for everyone.  At the end of chemotherapy, Darryl, Troy and myself went up to see him.  Seeing him sitting in the chair with his legs crossed reading, looking healthy was like a ray hope that this was working.  He said his pain was gone, he felt fine.  His breathing was normal he was no longer panting.  Then we signed off for him to have radiation therapy for his brain.  His fear was that his mind wouldn't survive, that he would lose his essence.

Fast forward, we get him home he has lost sooooooooooooooo much weight.  he starts his 8 days of radiation and each day he's getting weaker and weaker.  His appetite is non existent.   his pain is back and worse than ever. He's vomiting a lot.  The only thing he could eat was the frozen blueberry puree I made and frozen seedless grapes.  Anyway radiation ends on Tuesday June 14th.  Thursday June 16th I had errands to run so he went to his moms house for a couple hours to give me a break.  His needs for oxygen had grown, he had been vomiting blood, he was very weak.  He got him back to the house, I carried him upstairs into the bed room.  I started working on him.  Giving him crushed ice and water to replenish himself.  I feed him the frozen blueberry puree so he can have something in his stomach.  It took an hour but he was good, his eyes were bright he was talking he felt better.

Friday June 17th, we go to the oncologist, he's so very weak. he needed a walker and even with that each step had him in excruciating pain.  the oncologist wasted no time when he saw Taylor. He told us to get him to the hospital. At this point Taylor stopped walking, he was way too weak to move and hold up his own weight.  We spent 10 hours in the emergency room with him spitting up blood, pure thick blood and everyone is taking their precious time.  I was beyond pissed off there.  I'm husband is dying in this bed and he doesn't even have a room yet. you've put him on 1 bag of fluids that finished hours ago and yet no fucking doctors has come to see him.  We leave.

Saturday June 18th, I wake up to a text from his mother. Taylor signed a Do Not Resuscitate form.  My heart broke.  Darryl and I head to the hospital.  Family and friends everywhere.  Once again I was pissed.  My baby was in bed sitting in his own piss.  He no longer had control of it. 

Fast Forward, he says "I want to go home. I don't want to die in a hospital". My heart is breaking even more and my stomach is starting to hurt.  There's no hope.  The Cancer won, its taking my baby away.  We arranged for Hospice care. Darryl coordinates  with family and friends to make the living room a comfortable spot for him to be... At this point our only m.o. is to make sure he is pain free and comfortable.  We get him in the house he's put in the bed. He's talking, smiling, watching TV, drinking water, eating frozen grapes.  He was putting on a show for us.  I stay with him as people leave.  Gave him morphine every 4 hours to keep him pain free.  Richard gets here.  Talks to Taylor.  I hung up the wind chime in front of him and put on some soothing music.

Sunday June 19th, Taylor isn't speaking, seeing him struggle to talk wasn't good... Slowly he becomes more and more unresponsive, he's struggling to breath, then he takes his last big breath.  His lips lost their color, his heart stopped.  He was finally at peace.  No More Pain.
Its funny, the pain I feel when I think about him is in my stomach.  Anyway, there's an abbreviated    version of the last few weeks of his life.



  1. I know that writing this was either hard, comforting or a combination. My heart goes out to you and my continual support in your time of need is there when and If you want it. I'm sure you know who this is.

  2. Martrel, you have been such an amazing and wonderful friend, lover, and partner to Taylor. I applaud you for displaying the true meaning of love and friendship by doing everything that you did. I miss my friend, but you were both so lucky to share (and continue to share) your love for each other. See you Friday. God Bless.

  3. I am so glad that you were there for him. I never met him in person, but he was a long time, very valued internet friend. He taught me a lot about how things are, and how they should be. Taylor impressed me no end, and was very generous and kind to me. It's still such a shock. My deepest condolences...words just aren't enough for times like this.

  4. OMG Martrel. From your recap it is easy to see why he loved you so much. Thank God you had each other in your life. Wow. We so wanted to be together in October but he will be with us always in spirit. Stay strong young brother. You will be blessed. LP

  5. Words cannot express the anguish I feel reading about Taylor's last moments, but my heart and my deepest condolences go out to all the people who loved and cared for him. I came to know him as a blogger back in '05 and we kept in touch off and on through FB and email. I was in NYC last summer and tried to catch up with him before heading back home to FL and hated that I missed the opportunity to tell him face to face how great of an influence he'd had on me, helping me navigate my way thru love and life and was looking forward to him signing his book. Taylor will forever be in my heart and mind. Hard to imagine how sudden and quickly his life changed, but I am glad to know he was at peace. Much love, Marcus

  6. Hi,
    my heart goes out to you. I met Taylor, via the internet, over one year ago. He was always super supportive of me and my writing. We were really striking up a good friendship (prior to his cancer diagnosis); and now one of my big regrets is that I'll never get to meet him in person.
    Anyway, I am so glad you were there for him every step of the way. He was BLESSED to have someone as loving as you in his life.
    Take care sweetie. :0)

  7. My soul goes out to you. Taylor was one of the first persons to support my blog and we communicated with each other for years. I can't imagine what it is like to loose someone you love, I know it sounds very cliche, but he is watching over you. His love will always be there with you.