Friday, June 26, 2009

Dad Update and Other Non-cycling Thoughts.

The end game is here. I doubt it will be long now.

My Dad is non-communicative for the most part. He moans and grunts with discomfort sometimes. He will make his displeasure with regard to having the oxygen tube on or a blanket on him by removing the offending items, sometimes recklessly. Therefore he has been sedated most of the time since yesterday afternoon. I talked with him briefly this morning, and he said a couple or words, but that has been it for about 20 hours.

Patrick watched him this afternoon while I handle some of his affairs and he was much the same. It may be funny later, but he will not tolerate any clothing on. Nor will he keep a blanket or sheet on him either unless he is sleeping somewhat deeply. Oh, and he is in the front room of my mom's house because it is the largest and easiest for nurses to take take of him. All of the other bedrooms are upstairs and to have put him up there would have been very difficult. Obviously if someone where to walk into the house from the front door they would have a naked man about 20 feet away from them on a bed. This might be disconcerting. For this reason when the doorbell rings we step out and walk with them to the rear of the house. Not that Dad notices at this point.

It has been such a rapid decline. He was diagnosed with Cancer on May 20th. It is now June 26th. Cancer is a cruel disease. In some respects we, including Dad, are lucky is is moving so quickly. It is painful for him. Thank goodness for the pain medication and some of the other things we have that prevent him from feeling the full brunt of what is happening.

I am not sure how much longer he will be with us. Each day has brought him further down the spiral. He is markedly more jaundiced that he was a couple of days ago. His liver must not be doing much of anything.

Yesterday he drank a decent amount. Today, hardly anything at all. This is normal we have been told in the final stages.

Patrick and I went to one of 4 storage units that our Dad has filled with all manner of personal belongs, tools, furniture and even a car. One storage unit is filled with stuff from his parents. This needs to finally be sorted as well. There is so much to do. Ugh.

Tomorrow morning I gotta go for a ride. I need some perspective that often comes from being out there solo. I am not exactly sad or in mourning yet. That may come later. I am still sort of in crisis mode and most of my feelings have been shut to the side. I am pretty adept at doing this in my life. I am doing that now knowing that I will probably have to pay the piper a bit later. That is fine.

Last night I had to tell my Dad that I would not go get him a gun or a knife so that he could end his life. He pleaded with me a couple of times to end it for him. I told him "No." each time. Then a bit later he wanted to sit up on the side of his medical bed. There is no way that this would work, he doesn't have the strength to get up or to balance. Yet, he was struggling to do so and wanting me and the nurse to help. I told him no. He called me a wuss. Said that wusses didn't get far in life because they don't take the chances necessary to go far. I just shook my head at him and then tried to reason with him.

I told him the doctor didn't want him out of bed. He didn't have the strength to get up and then if he did even with help there is a high likelihood that he would fall and possibly break something. I spoke some other things to in a firm manner, but calmly without talking down to him. He said he "could understand that concern." But then he stated that I couldn't understand what it was like to be where he was at. To be able to do something so small like sit up would be such a big thing for him. He needed to be able to do something, to work toward something. I pondered this briefly and said that I saw no reason we couldn't do some physical therapy as long as he remained laying down. He nodded his head and said that this would be good. I called my mother-in-law who happens to be a physical therapist and my Dad respects her. She gave me a list of simple exercises that Dad could do. He really appreciated that and we worked him for about 10 minutes or so.

He also asked me what the doctor, who had visited earlier that day had thought about his condition. For an instant I thought about lying to him. Maybe I could tell him that he might have a chance of getting out of bed again. But instead I shot stright with him. That is how he was in life, I thought I should be in to him now. I old him the doctor thought that he had somewhere near a couple of weeks left possibly. I did say that the doctor knew he was stubborn and thought that given his stubborn disposition that it could also be two months. He smiled. Soon after he was asleep.

But like I wrote earlier, Dad is worse to day. I don't think it will even be a week now.

I have up till now tried to keep this blog religion-free. Please forgive me now as I relate a couple of things that my Dad said to me when we had our last father-son talk a few days ago on Monday.

"It would be quite nice to be quoted once in awhile" (said with a slight smirk.)

"I count on all things being known in the end"

"I get to meet Him. And I hope it is quite joyful."

"I can feel Heavenly Father's love and compassion so much." And as he said that I knew that it was true. I could feel it too.

He told me that it would be rough to be the one in charge of his estate and his stuff because I would have to say no to my siblings when they disagreed with me. I told him I doubted that this would be the case. None of us are as worried about the disposition of his stuff as he is really. We just want to be free of the burden of it. And he felt bad about that, that he was leaving this world with too much unfinished business. I told him that it was OK. I wouldn't charge him too much (stated with a smirk). My sister Stephanie was in the room and she was told by my Dad that she was a witness to my charge to take charge of his estate and that I was to do it in righteousness, to do what was right. She nodded.

Not that I needed this charge from him. I felt it already. But having it reaffirmed was appropriate and nice in a way. I felt a bit of the torch being passed, some authority being passed on to me as the oldest son. I felt a bit of a burden being put on me for sure.

Dad is not comfortable now, I am going to sit by him...perhaps I will update this more tomorrow.

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