Topic: Update on my Dad

I haven't posted here in a long time, although I visit almost every day.   I have thought about posting again many times, but just couldn't bring myself to write the words.  It is just all so painful.

Since being diagnosed in August, my Dad has steadily declined.  We visited on Labor Day weekend for his 70th birthday.  At that time, he was still going to the gym, driving, and living a relatively normal life, although he was very tired.   I brought my juicer with me, and we made a batch of carrot juice.  He drank a little, but I had a feeling he wasn't open to the idea.  He didn't finish what I made, and they haven't used the juicer again since we left.  He will not take any of the supplements mentioned on this site.

At that time, since the doctor at Mayo told us 6 to 12 months, we were hoping for 6 good months to get us through another Christmas at least.  I now have little hope that will happen.   He has lost more weight, and mom says we will notice a definitely difference when we visit again next week.  He has ascites buildup in his abdomen, which is causing shortness of breath.  He has swelling in his ankles and hands some days.   He is extremely fatigued, and I think he sleeps a great deal during the day.  His prostate is enlarged, so he has to get up a lot at night, which doesn't help his fatigue, I'm sure.  The hospice team prescribed diuretics for the ascites.  I'm not sure how well that is working.  They suggested oxygen for his shortness of breath, but he doesn't want it yet.   He thinks it would just get in the way at this point.

Last week, he fell several times.  Once, on the front porch because his hands were full of mail, and he couldn't catch himself.  And another time, he was sitting on the edge of the bed, and just fell over onto the floor.  The hospice nurse brought him a 4-prong cane, which he does use.   Fortunately, he is not in any pain.  He asked the nurse if she thought the cancer was progressing faster, and she said yes.   When I talk to him on the phone, he often sounds groggy and very depressed (understandably so, of course).   He doesn't drive any more, and didn't leave the house at all this week.   He had been going out to breakfast with my mom on Saturdays, and to the grocery store.  He didn't feel well enough to do that this weekend.

Since he is not doing any chemo, or other treatments, all we can do is wait, and be with him as much as possible.  I am taking next week off work so I can visit with him.  My mom has to work, and I hate it that he is alone all day, as I'm sure that adds to the depression.  My husband and kids will drive up later in the week.  Seeing the kids will brighten him up a bit, at least. 

I wish I knew for sure what will happen next, how long, etc..  I feel sad and in a fog all the time.   There is nothing to be done, and that is so hard.   I am grateful that he is not in pain, and is not vomiting.  Doesn't that seem like so little to be grateful for?  But I wonder, is that what comes next?

Re: Update on my Dad

I am grateful that he is not in pain, and is not vomiting.  Doesn't that seem like so little to be grateful for?  But I wonder, is that what comes next?

My husband had extreme weight loss, ascitites, puffy ankles but no pain or vomiting - except immediately before he died. It appears to take people in diffrent ways. My husband had no chemo so he had none of the problems associated with side effects of chemo.

I send you all my best wishes and hope your father has a peaceful end surrounded by those he loved.
Patricia

Re: Update on my Dad

Dear Rae,
I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this. As Patricia said, there may not be any vomiting or pain at all, or not until the very end, which was my mother's case, too.  Small consolation - I know. I wish I had words to console you.

I hope your father and your family find some measure of peace. My mother was also very depressed - as you said, it's understandable -- make sure you tell him you love him so you don't agonize over what was not said. Of course I'm sure he KNOWS you love him, and I'm sure you tell him so, but I think it helps the depression a bit when there's some human contact and affirmation. He may be pulling away from his loved ones right now, entering his own world, but he still loves you and his family dearly. How can anyone say good-bye? It's unimaginable what he's going through, the poor man.

My heart goes out to you and your family - sorry for my clumsy words, there's no way to express my sympathy that sounds right.

-Joyce

Re: Update on my Dad

Hya Rae
I am so sorry you are all going through this. I am also sure he knows you all love him and he loves you too.

As patricia and joyce have said no one knows when the end comes. My alan put his arms around his dad three days before and said " I love you dad" I sat there and watched. He could not tell me, he had chose me to nurse him night and day for however long it took. This was how he told me he loved me. He knew that when his end came I would be the one with him.  We could not say goodbye. He will live on for ever in our hearts and minds. His ending was so very peaceful, no pain just sleep.
Make the most of every minute whatever the cost to anyone or anything. This is a very special place and we are all there for you at any time. All my love and hugs to you all teresa (alans mom)

U.K.Member

Re: Update on my Dad

So sorry that things are so hard Rae. It rings bells about how things went downhill with my Mum.
I hope you have a lovely week with him. I think company is what will serve him best right now, lots of loving company. So hard that your Mum has to work. Oh, so difficult this CC monster.
I'm so sorry that you are having such a hard time, and I hope that your visit goes well.

Re: Update on my Dad

Dear Rae -- Your story about your Dad brings back the painful experience of seeing one we love so dear going through all this. My husband did not have pain until the very last week of his illness. One night his pain came on suddenly (out of the blue). A doctor friend theorized that he had sudden hemorrhaging in the liver and bile duct.
Morphine shots did not touch the pain. An angel of a nurse then administered a shot of DILAUDID which finally relieved the pain. It was such a blessed relief. (it might be wise to keep that name in mind -- I had never heard of it!)

My heart goes out to you and your family. My husband passed away May 18 of this year and I am continually comforting myself with the thoughts that he is in a better place, free of the pain that could have lingered for a long time -- it's a blessing to know he is at peace. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers and with you.
Love & Hugs,  Jean

Re: Update on my Dad

Hi Rae- my thoughts are with you any your precious dad. I lost my own Dad this January after a 10 week courageous battle with this illness.  He was 69- much too young.

I can echo what some of the others have said... savour every moment... do what you feel is right in your heart.  Be aware of the needs of your dad... even just being with him quietly can be of great comfort.

My sincerest prayers are with you and your family that your dad can be helped in the best possible way.

Missing U

Re: Update on my Dad

I honestly don't know how I would get through this without all of you and this site.  Your responses are so understanding and supportive.  They really do help me enormously.

I am swamped at work at the moment, so I have to sign off, but I just wanted to thank all of you for your kindness and caring.   I will try to write more later, but it may not be until after I get back from visiting Dad.

Re: Update on my Dad

Dear Rae,

My heart goes out to you and your family.  I wish your dad a peaceful ending with everyone he loves at his side. Give him whatever he wants when he wants it. That's what my kids and I did with my husband. One thing I can tell you is, the last three days went very fast! He got up easter morning and by 12noon he was gone.
I just want you to know that I am sending you my prayers. Love him as much as you can, be with him even more. Even if you just sit next to him, he'll know.
Please keep us informed.
Someone who cares,   Sandy