I was advised to take a little break from this blog, that the intense feelings after the diagnoses and the events that followed were not the best to work through publicly. So, I’ve taken a little time away from this blog and am back to share. I am not sure that the writing will be any different, I am myself, but I may be more selective as to what I include; time will tell.
So, what is going on? Dad has been going in for his chemo treatments. Three weeks on, then 1 week off for labs. He continues to share his food treats with the people in the center and during the holidays he mentioned that several people brought treats of their own. Maybe it was just the Christmas spirit of sharing and eating different treats, or maybe some people were feeling more open and talkative. Accepting change is not easy but once people open-up sharing and being friendly becomes contagious.
Four weeks ago Dad fell while trying to get out of the bed. His bed would probably be considered an antique (they’ve had it long before I was born). So, its low to the ground and when he gets out of it his legs have to push to straighten up and stand. I mentioned this difficulty and the danger of him standing up to my mother when I was home for Thanksgiving. What I was most scared of was that he would not be able to stand up and would instead fall, hit his head on the dresser, or break a leg or arm. Mother told me to not bring this up to him, that he had seen it before and that a hospital bed coming into the house would probably be considered a ‘mark of death’, similar to Hospice coming out to help a dying person. For my non-U.S. readers hospice is a medical service that is prescribed for a person who is considered to be in the latter stages of death. Hospice personnel visit the patient and manage them, which is considered by many to be more human, or humane; Death with dignity.
Mother found him sitting in the floor, sort of dumbfounded. When describing it she mentioned he didn’t recall what happened and didn’t call her for help. It was as-if the shock of falling just got the best of him (my stranger will allow me to consider this one for awhile). It took some effort but she got him up and on to the bed. That’s when Mother noticed the bruises had already started to show, from his shoulder blades to a spot below his buttock. Of course he didn’t want to report this to his doctor and it was not mentioned. But 2 weeks later he fell a second time while he was out on the porch that I wrote about in another blog post. The second time he fell against some bushes which saved him from hitting the ground and possibly his head on the sidewalk. God works with small miracles many times.
When mother told me about this my visitor stuck his head in the room and told me, “This is the end”, but I was able to ignore him. It could be signs of him losing his mobility, but that happens with many elderly people.
He had a PET scan to measure the density and size of the cancer, measurements which can be used to determine the effectiveness of the chemotherapy. My mother reported to me that the cancer had shrunk but neither asked the doctor how much it had been reduced. After asking several more questions I came to the conclusion they did not want to discover it had only shrunk a little bit, instead this way they could hold on to hope that it had been significant.
One last comment to bring this blog up-to-date (sort-of); Dad will have another scan this coming week to measure for reduction in the size of the tumor. We are praying for success but the demon visitor has come to him and raised much fear and concern. Dad mentioned to me, “What if it didn't shrunk enough?” “What if it’s still the same size?”
I will post on a more regular schedule, the demon has returned and causing doubt and worry to enter the story.