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?