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How ironic that Fathers Day is one day after the 1 year Anniversary of my Fathers death.  Flag day, June 14th will be one year.  In some ways it seems longer, in others it seems just a few months ago.  There is no “blunting” of the pain, just a gradual acceptance.  No one can describe in full how it is to lose a parent.  I liken it to seeing a beautiful view of the mountains, getting your camera, and being unable to capture the moment.  There is no way to tell anyone else the full blood and guts truth of how you are doing, or how you are feeling.  But, the support of those around, is appreciated AND so very necessary.  Without a hug, or word of encouragement, one would simply dry up, shrivel into a shell, a husk of nerves.

I carry on…sigh…

I’ve often second guessed myself these past few days. Like…should we have put Dad into the hospital sooner? Should we have went back to the Oncologist after getting the “bad” PET scan report? Should I have hidden the fact, from Dad, that the scan showed “activity in the area of the left rib cage, and showed several other new growths, one pressing against the vital carotid? Most days I say, we did the right thing. Dad stayed home all the days of his life except when he absolutely couldn’t get up without much much much more help than I could give. Just last Saturday, me, Mom and Dad sat outside his house, I lit a fire in their mainly unused chiimarree, and we got to enjoy the fire, the outdoors, the bird songs, the gentle breeze, the fact that we were NOT in the hospital or nursing home. Sunday, we did much the same…and Dad wanted a ride in my little bug. I complied of course…no whiplash at all! I stayed all night from that night on. Tht was the last day that Dad went anywhere. Monday, not only was Dad unable to talk, he didn’t want go to the hospital for his zymeta or even have the bloodwork done. He needed help to get off the couch. He ate nothing. that’s when we got the wheelchair, commode and aafter discussion, determined we would stay home as long as Dad had no pain and I could still get him up with stand by assistance from Mom. Dad was able to say at home until Wednesday then, we went into the hospital late afternoon for bloodwork, zymeta and in our heart we knew, final admission to the hospital. Mark had to lift Dad from the wheelchair into the Durango. God, what a heartbreaking experience. Dad was in a bad way. So weak, but still no complaints. Once in the hospital bed, which I haven’t seen him lay down for 1 and 1/2 years (not to mention Mom), he rapidly deteriorated. He rested finally after midnight. I went home for a few hours and when I went back, I knew it was almost over. He died Thursday morning. Thank God he didn’t have to suffer anymore. Today, is the funeral. Another difficult day. But I couldn’t wish him back to suffer anymore.

It’s bad now.
Everyday someone asks…”So…how’s your dad?”, and I have to pause and say, “He’s not good, he’s not good at all”. Even though I said that yesterday, and the day before that and the day before that…today…he’s worse. Each day unfolds some new, bad. Every day is hell in it’s own way. There is no word for this disease…this parasitic fungi…this appetite stealing, body wasting, sonofabitch cancer.

I’ve become the child of someone dying with cancer.
No longer a nurse.
No longer someone who knows someone who “has cancer”.
Suddenly, to the very marrow of my bones I, well, ache…for lack of a better word.
This is a feeling you can’t really describe easily.
This is a sinking, nervous despair feeling that only anyone who has a parent or close family member dying of cancer would recognize.
Dad is shrinking by the hour it seems. Cheeks sunken in. Verbalization at a minimum. Pain seems to be under good control. He is walking with a cane now. Output is poor. His eyes look resigned to the fate at hand. I guess that’s what I noticed yesterday. What often triggers my tears.
This is so very very hard.

I think dad has pneumonia or a virus. He seems weaker and his voice is a bit hoarse. He has no energy. He doesn’t want to eat…an ongoing problem. He requested his nebulizor medication. He is taking Darvocet frequently…I don’t know if he is having that much pain since his last thoracentesis or…I don’t know. He had some Levaquin left and started on that…but…I think he needs to go to the Dr. Of course he threw a big ass fit when I told him I was making an appointment and taking him. NO NO NO he told me.
okay…I get it. Don’t help you
when I know better
shit
this has been a day from hell anyway and now I feel even more of a failure.
some nurse/daughter I am

Dad had a left lung thorecentesis yesterday. For him, it was extremely painful…the worst one yet. He said, “I’m not doing it again”, and I think I believe him. Maybe there will be no need for it. They drained off 800cc of fluid this time. He took 2 Percocet for the pain and I think those meds helped him.
He is to get Zometa on March 9th or so.
I guess he is not choosing to do the parathyroid surgery.
He is depressed.
The last time he went to the Dr. (and I couldn’t go to this appointment) the Oncologist said things that were depressing Mom said….like…”If I were a betting man I’d bet this cancer will come back”, and “If you are going to be around for 4 or 5 years more I would suggest the surgery”…and I guess the way he said things he was looking down at his hands and just…depressing.
Dad’s weight is 140’s. He isn’t eating. Doesn’t want to.
But his scans are good. State…No sign of cancer.
Although his Calcium remains on the high side. 11 this time.
shit, I don’t know.
Bastard Dr anyway.
Bastard Cancer anyway.
Fucking cigarettes anyway.

Word on the CT scan?
Yes…C L E A R from cancer. Yes, there is fluid bilaterally. Yes there are radiation changes. No metastasis. No new growth. Nada.
Liver clean, kidney’s clean, abdomen clean.

for now

Dad had a CT scan with barium swallow today.
We went up to Kearney, did the test, got groceries in Holdridge, and came home.
We go back to Kearney on Monday for the results.
We have not received the results for the test ordered by the endocrinologist either.
Do we want to or???
I don’t know.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

We left for Kearney about 7 am in order to get Dad’s radiation treatment done before his chemo appointment. This time he got in and out of the radiology department quickly. We left for the oncologists office immediately and upon arrival, Dad got his blood work done. As we waited in the room for the NP(nurse practitioner) to come in and examine Dad and ask the same damn questions he just answered for the radiology nurses I heard the lab wench say that the centrifuge was not cooperating.
Oh boy.
Let me guess.
Yes, another delay.
Shit.
The NP came in and asked all the same question her nurse just asked that resembled the questions that the radiology nurse just asked and guess what?
The answers were the same.
Then…we were told that Dad’s blood work would have to be taken over to the hospital and that we would have time for “breakfast” and to come back in 45 minutes.
We went to Micky D’s and Dad ate apple pies and and an egg, bacon McMuffin and coffee. Mom nibbled that stuff too. I got a diet Coke.
When we returned we waited for awhile and another while and yet more whiles. Finally, the good news: The blood work is okay!
shocker
NOT
Let the chemo begin!
Dad was premedicated with Prednisone and Benedryl for the last 24 hours in preparation for this chemo treatment as he has reacted the last 2 times. Did it work?
HELL NO!!
HE STILL REACTED. Breathing shutting down, flushing, coughing…just not as bad as the 2 previous times.
shit fire and hide the fucking matches
After an IV dose of Solu Medrol he was fine and fit as a fiddle and able to take the poison aka cure from hell Taxol.
Mom and I left to do a few errands when Dad relaxed and started to doze and she returned some pants at Walmart and I wandered around buying a new curling iron, forgetting the very important item…hair dye, getting Mark orange and black shorts and a new black shirt that says basketball, and piling a sack of some kind of freaky trail mix into my cart.
We brought Dad a chocolate shake from Sonic and waited for the chemo to be done. Finally around 4:30 he was free from IV lines and we were out the door. Dad felt great and off to the wild blue yonder we flew.

How come when Dad gets chemo I’M THE ONE EXHAUSTED!??

Tomorrow…the last radiation treatment and then we don’t have to go to Kearney for 2 whole weeks!

Holy SHIT!