Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Life and Times – More Life Please

I have been spending some time out west with my family. My Father is desperately ill suffering from both a bleeding ulcer and cancer. The cancer is the small cell stuff in the Lungs, spleen and the liver. It is an especially aggressive variety having appeared and spread in a matter of a few months, he was clean and clear back in March but by June he was two legs into the grave. The bleeding ulcer is actually the ailment that has caused the most problems as it is responsible for his lack of an appetite resulting in a dramatic weight loss. Something like 100 pounds since March, maybe more. And this before the chemo treatments.

He was taken in to the hospital a couple of weeks ago when he started bleeding out; this was when they caught the ulcer. Treating it at the same time as his first chemo treatment may not have been smart but they needed to get started on the cancer since it was moving so fast and causing his liver to shut down. The chemo did reverse that and he is home recovering however he looks like death warmed over. A very sad sight indeed.

A year ago at this time he visited us here in the Swamp. He flew out with two of our nephews (Grandsons #7 and #8 for him out of 9, I can't count the Granddaughters) and a niece (I can't count the total of Granddaughters, there are so many I have 4-sisters and one Brother all mass producing). Back then he was vital and vigorous. He handled the all day flying that it takes to go from Albuquerque to Philadelphia (stopover in DFW, no one fly's direct to Albuquerque from Philadelphia) in good humor even with the three young one's in tow (they are good kids). And we took them to Gettysburg and Washington DC for touring. Both places require a lot of walking and in the July heat it was hard on all of the visitors, even some of us residents of the area. Of course the humidity did its trick but the Good Wife and I did a good job keeping everyone hydrated carrying bottled water in coolers filled with ice. My Father trudged around the National Mall stopping for the occasional smoke. I stayed with him while the Good Wife took the point with the kids. He never complained.

Now, today he needs help standing up, uses a walker to get around and requires more meds than I can count.

Bless my Sisters, all of them. They are the true angels in this story. One of them has been with him since his health took the dark turn some 8 weeks ago. They have some flexibility in their lives right now to accommodate having someone there every day and another that spends the night with him. He is never alone. Even when he was in the hospital one of them would spend the night in the room with him just so that he would have a familiar face and voice with him in the wee hours of the night.

With their help I am sure my Father will get some of his old form back and maybe, just maybe we can get him back here for some more of that humidity torture that the Swamp area is famous for. I can only pray.

Living here in the Far East makes it very hard to get out to see my Family. Over the years my Kids have been deprived of the best two Grandparents one could imagine having. Now, one of them is gone and the other has two legs in the grave. My greatest hope is to find some way to get all of us out there to be with him. I fear time is not on my side. I can only hope that the Angles do their work and he stays with us a few more years.

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Bag Blog said...

This story is very familiar to me having gone through the whole cancer thing with my dad. He fought it for four years - much longer than predicted by the doctors. My prayer was also about "time". I wanted more time with him, and I got it. Although Dad was an easy patient, it was not easy to watch him go down. I will pray time and mercy for you and your dad too.

JimmyT said...

Thank You Lou, such a hard thing to witness. Makes you think.

BT. Jimmy T sends.