Sunday, March 09, 2014

There's no time, there's never any time

It seems wrong to write about something so serious with a title that is from that episode of Saved By the Bell where Jessie gets addicted to uppers.  But I kind of related to Jessie this week because like her, I was so tired, just running on fumes, but I kept running.  

I'm really sorry I've been a terrible commenter.  A lot of you are going through big stuff.  I've been thinking about you, and I hope that soon my support will be more than just in my own head.  Either way, please know that someone in NY/NJ did think of you and was sending positive thoughts your way.

Last Tuesday I talked to my dad on the phone and he seemed very ill.  Very confused.  If I hadn't already known that dementia does not come on suddenly, I would have been worried that that was what was happening.  I told him that I was concerned and that we needed to go see his doctor the next morning, and he resisted a little, but finally agreed.  According to Dr. Google, Dad was probably experiencing dehydration-induced delirium.  Yeah, apparently that's a thing.

The next morning, I took a Zip Car out, and found Dad in bed, pretty out-of-it.  It was a serious struggle, but I eventually got him into the car and took him to the ER (while calling his oncologist, who luckily was on-call that morning at the hospital and met us at the ER).  

Dad spent the next four days in the hospital, recovering from the dehydration.  There's been other stuff, too, basically involving the fact that he is now considered a risk for falls and he's been having a lot of problems with his colostomy.  The good news was that he was cleared by Neurology pretty quickly - the cognitive issues seemed to be entirely due to the dehydration and loss of electrolytes.

On Friday, Dr. T, his onco, came to see us with his results, and they were not.... good.  I had thought they would be okay, because his last tumor marker blood level showed a reduction.  But they weren't.  the Pelvic Mass That Will Not Be Stopped has continued to grow.  But also distressing, there are several new liver metastasis that weren't there back in December.  This.... sucks.  What sucks even more?  We have now exhausted chemotherapy protocols, which means we'd have to return to an old protocol which is unlikely to do much.

I asked Dr. T how much time Dad would have if he didn't do any treatment.  It always hard to answer that, Dr. T said, because everyone is different, yada yada yada.  But he would guess 6 months.  With the treatment, well, it's tough to say.  But the end result is that we're coming to the end of the road.  I know that it seems like we should have been prepared for this.  After all, Dad has had nearly 5 years since his diagnosis and that is 3 or 4 more years than we were supposed to get.  We have always known the end game here.  But Dad and I both cried about this news.  A lot.  Friday was a terrible day.  

Dad has decided to do the treatment, figuring it can't hurt since Dr. T is going to start him on the lowest dosage possible to see how he tolerates it.  

Meanwhile, getting an aging parent home, setting up a home health aide who will come in, while also dealing with all the chores and errands that hadn't been done because he was feeling so ill has been really hard on me.  My sister has been no help.  She thinks Dad should move into assisted living, which I didn't disagree with until they told us that he probably only has 6 months.  Then I asked him if he would prefer to stay in his home, and he said he would.  So I'm trying to make that work while also being honest and acknowledging that my role as primary caregiver has to change drastically because I'm just not going to be able to do it once the baby is born, or even before that.  

I guess that's it.  We'll see.  In the mean time, it feels like there's no time left, and that feels awful.  I hate seeing my dad sad.  I hate that my son will never really know my parents at all.  I hate everything about this.  I hate how hard this is.  I hate that I actually feel guilty for being pregnant because it means that I can't help Dad as much as I think I should.

And I'm so tired.  So, so tired.  So for now, that's it. 

6 comments:

  1. Oh my sweet friend my heart just shatters into pieces reading this. When my Gram was coming to the end of her battle with cancer she wanted to be at home and not in the hospital or assisted living either. We did everything we could as a family to make her comfortable in her own home- even if it was difficult and your sister really needs to come to terms with that and help you out. Something that helped me when she was dying was to talk to her about all the old family stories, family blood lines, and get her advice for the future since she wouldn't be there to share it with me. It helps me to remember back on those talks now. To know that even though the twins won't know her physically they will be sure to know her mentally. I'm praying for you and for your Dad. Don't forget to take care of you too! Sending you the biggest hugs I possibly can!

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  2. I'm so sorry. I hope you are able to make your dad as comfortable (mentally and physically) as possible during this time. I know it's going to take a lot out of you, but I hope in the end you will be satisfied with what you are able to provide for him. Wishing you both peace.

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  3. I'm so sorry....this has to be one of the most difficult things to face. My prayers are with you all as you navigate this difficult road. Take care of yourself.

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  4. I can't understand how hard this must be for you and your dad. There isn't anything that makes it easier when you know a goodbye is coming. It's wonderful that you continue to ask your dad what he wants and try as best as you can to achieve that. I hope that he is able to be at home and that the home health aid you find to help can relieve some of your guilt about not being able to do as much while pregnant. My thoughts are with you.

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  5. My thoughts are with you through this rough time.

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  6. Oh Megs, I'm so, so very sorry. I've been there with my own father and it is terribly, awfully, horribly rough. All you can do is try and make him and yourself as at peace and comfortable as you can. My thoughts and love are with you.

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