Topic: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Been reading your posts for a over month now and have found a wealth of information and inspiration.  My Dad  is 82 ,was diagnosed with CC in Sept 07.  As caretaker  won't say I experienced all of the pain, hope, courage and heartbreak that so many have endured, but definitely can identify with the roller coaster ride no one wanted a ticket for.
Prior to his CC, "Stan the Man" already had Macular Degeneration, mild Alzh, stroke in Feb 07,  plus inoperable heart blockages found in April.  He developed jaundice, fatigue, itching, weight loss in late Aug 07 .  Doctor's said operating was out due to his heart so he had his bile drained for 3 days then had one metal stent put in.  We all agreed to do whatever pallative measures were possible and let God decide the rest. 

After the proceedures it was a rough road but he got back.  He NEVER talks about his cancer.  Be it denial or whatever ,it works for him.  When the doctor sat him down for the big "C" discussion in the hospital, he listened patiently then asked if he could eat his dinner promising to pay attention.  By statistics he should of been gone long due to heart failure, now with CC, life expectancy is months.  He isn't getting any form of treatment., still walks 1/2 to 1 mi a day.   No pain yet, and has gained back 1/2 the weight he lost. 

Be it dementia or CC my father will hit up the sweets on the sneak.  I have found cookie containers strewn about like a troop of rats raided the kitchen.  I had to set him down and reinstate how too much sugar makes him ill and dizzy, and with my heart problems I can't be lifting him off the floor or I could be at the Pearly Gates before him.  SHORTLY AFTER THE LECTURE STANLEY CAME OUT OF HIS ROOM AND DECLARED LOUDLY,  "IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO YOU.......I'D REALLY BE SCREWED." 
Sometimes it's not how you look at it, it's how you don't look at it .....that makes all the difference..

I did  tell Dad I visit this site, how I get great advice and solved the mystery of sugar craving.  Thank you all for sharing your emotions and medical insights.  I probably will not be posting often, but I for sure will be reading. He will be 83 Dec 10th, tough old bird.  Mean sometimes too, I've learned not to look at that side.

Prayers for All,   Kath

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Kath,

Thanks so much for your post.  My mom and I are the primary caretakers for my dad and we are all having a difficult time right now.  We kind of take the denial approach as well, shielding dad from the clinical information and stats that doctors give us.  I have struggled with this decision as to whether we are doing the right thing, but dad seems to do better when he is in denial and mom says it's for the best.  Reading your post makes me think that what we are doing is for the best and we're not the only ones doing it.  Your dad definitely sounds like a "tough old bird" as you put it.  I hope you and your family have a great 83 with him next week!

Richard

3 (edited by marions Mon, 03 Dec 2007 19:37:27)

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Welcome Kath and Hi Richard,

My husband chose to take in as much information as he was willing to process.  I honored this wholeheartedly and feel comfortable knowing that I did not burden him with anything other than what he requested to be made aware of. 

I believed strongly that it was

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Welcome Kath,
Good luck with your tough old bird - sounds like the type I would love, having had a bunch of them in my family!

Yes, denial is the best way to handle many people, despite what all the experts and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross says. As Marions said, it's a case-by-case decision, and if someone wants to avoid reality to their last breath, that's the least we can do for them. My mother knew what was coming but she didn't want to know - it just made her anxious and she told me "I know you're finding things out on the Internet and I don't want to know!"

I wish you the best of luck - it really is tough on the caregivers when they can't share their concerns, and I'm sure it's tough on the patient, who internalizes all those fears. You're both in my thoughts -
Joyce

5 (edited by Kath Tue, 04 Dec 2007 10:45:51)

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Thank you Richard, Marions and Joyce for your replies and caring.   By respecting their choices we repect them, their spirit within also which is much wiser everything else put together.  Each and every situation is different.

Take care, Kath

PS  I have a brother named Richard, and a sister named Joyce, they don't get involved nor have come to see Dad (old resentments),  I have gained many sisters and brothers with many different names.  Synchronicity, neat huh?

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Kath,
Your dad sounds great! I bet he makes you laugh loads, when you are not tearing your hair out. I too like to dabble in denial. Though I read up and know what the truth is, I like to pretend it is someone else's truth. I think denial is what holds me together and it is a thin string that can break anytime.

Each person and carer must take this journey using their own map and car. No two trips are the same, even for people in the same car.

You are right that people come and go in your life, always for a reason if you look hard enough-for my horrible, nasty ex-boyfriend, I remind myself he introduced me to Jimmy Buffett music (like I said sometimes you have to look hard). Others are truely angels that lifft your spirits or help you shoulder burdens-we have many of those here.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Kris-i loved that car analogy.   Though I do the driving, Dave really is in the driver's seat and we so often see this trip differently.   Thanks for reigning in my perspective.
Patrice

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Hi Kath,
You're right about pretty much everything you said - and synchronicity, too! Shortly after my mother passed, I met my neighbor, Elizabeth. That was my mother's name and we've become great friends. Maybe now I'll run into a Kath!

Hope the old bird is doing well-

-Joyce

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Hi Joyce,

The ole bird is hanging in there, a little restless because the temps in CT been pretty chilly hindering his walks.  I got him to eat Morning Star breakfast sausages this morning.  He is/was such a T-Rex concerning meat this is a great revelation and effort to cut down on fats.

Wanted to schedule a Cardio Dr. visit and he wouldn't hear of it.  Says, "The G.P and Gastro men said they didn't need to see me anymore, what is this guy going to do?" I brought it up for he has some swelling in ankles and lower calfs.  Could be CC or  his blockages.  May need the compression socks back on.  Have Lasix but isn't a silver bullet. 

Thank you for keeping my spirits up, and noticing things that are threads tying us all in.  Humor is keeping us going, even through the spats. 

Later Kath

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Hi Kath..... Stan the Man, Love it!  He reminds me of my Dad.  So dog gone set in his ways, he would have mutiple mini strokes and just keep on going saying it's all in your head.  Ha! I finally had to call an ambulance in the state of Maine from Kansas to get him to go for treatment.  It all came down to love for my Mom.  I had to promise to take care of her and keep them together as she had late stage parkinsons.  He was the primary caregiver with some day time help and he wasn't going to abandon his post!  Well after a couple weeks I managed by begging and praying to get them both in a nursing home same room and matching recliners with a beautiful view.  He passed on about 7 months later as surgery was out of the question with his congestive heart.  Peacefully in his room with his loving wife holding his hand.  He knew he could let go only after he knew my Mom was in safe hands and would be looked after.  I kinda went in to a story here but the bottom line is your post brought back some memories of how wise my Dad was and like you said, it is sometimes the way you don't look at it that makes a difference.  Tell Stan the Man  to keep on trucking, He reminds me of a remote control truck with energizer bunny batteries in it.  Ha! Loved your post.  Wish you both the best!
Bless You and Stan the Man!
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Hello Jeff,

Beautiful story of your Mom and Dad.  What a loving couple to the end, such devotion.   Reading your posts you seem to connect with everyone and know the right things to say. You have a heart of gold, a good son and carrying your burdens with class. 

My Mom passed in Aug 2000 of CHF and my Dad was a fish out of water.  Myself also, she was my best friend and had such wonderful humor. 
"Stan the Man"  is like your analogy, energizer bunny.  Each hit he takes I think "Well this it", but it isn't. Driving was his only escape, not possible now due to macular so walking is his thing, his private time.  Really thought I may have had to place him in a nursing home , that day may come soon.

After Mom's passing he would come across Montel's show having Sylvia Browne as a guest.  It made him think about seeing Mom again, she talking to people on the otherside.  I don't watch much daytime tv, and the scheduling always changes.  He comes out of his room angry after changing channels for eternity.  Upset he said, "Can you help me find the Mandela Show?  I must of had a puzzled look thinking about Nelson Mandela having a talk show, (Does Oprah and Dr. Phil know this?).  Getting impatient with me he says,  "You  know, the one with Eleanor Browne!" It's these moments that I will file to remember over the darker times. A smile can heal.

To you Jeff, and all those that have the disease I applaud your faith/strength pursuing treatments and possible cures.  My Mom had gallbaldder problems, now with Dad  having CC of course I can't help at times to think about my genetic prospects (did have a gallbladder problems in late 80's, early 90's).  I like the idea of research dealing with light therapy, being our cellular basis functions on electric impulses and plasma (light form) for every function.  Not very up on the medical terminology nor having the knowledge that most have on this site, in layman's terms will say Signals.  Something signals this disease to start, in turn a signal can arrest it. Trick is early detection.

Have a friend who has lymphatic cancer is stage IV, and was unsuccessful with experimental trials.  In church a prayer said for her and this little kid stood up, about 5 or 6.  He turned to her and said, "I think the cancer gets mad at the poison that is in your body, and spreads by chasing it through your body.  Please don't misunderstand this last paragraph.  A cure wouldn't be found for any disease if it weren't for brave people trying new treatments.  I just hope for treatments that won't cause more harm than good. 
You didn't run on Jeff, I am.  Your Dad was a prince, you are your father's son.  I know my posts aren't medically informative, maybe just focusing more on the person than the disease.

Prayers for All,  Kath

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Beautiful posts Jeff and Kath.  Made me cry but it doesn't take much these days.  I think tricking the cells may be a great idea.  I wish I could be the magician to do it.  Hugs to all-
Patrice

Re: Hello to Many Wonderful People

Hugs to you also Patrice.  When words aren't enough our hearts send us tears.  Your not alone, I've cried reading many of these posts.  Kath