Jun 04, 2011 - 10:46 am
This week is something I can't even describe.
This past week, where do I even begin? Range of emotions...I think I felt everyone there is to feel. And here I sit now feeling completely defeated.
Everything started a week ago thursday, when we sat in the Surgery center waiting for my Dad to have his scope and esophagus Dialation. The procedure we've been waiting for...He had one done back in Novemeber, and it helped for quite a while or at least what i saw was quite awhile. As you all know each day when you yourself are dealing with the diagnosis of cancer, or a loved one.. each day seems like a year..anyway it helped for about 2 months maybe three if we were lucky..
I've been caring for my dad since his diagnosis back in feb 2009...
*I need to apologize for skipping around, Im not able to really concentrate atm and you will see why shortly*
Back to the surgery center, I was called back to recovery, where I found "superman" *my nickname for him* still asleep from the sedation. I sat there for what seemed like an eternity waiting for the doctor to come out and talk to us..*reality about 40 mins*
The doctor finally came out, I looked up expecting great news, He ran his hands through his hair, and we all know NOT good news. He proceeded to tell me that they had a hard time getting the scope in even much less dialate. He tells me Give it a week call the office we will get thoracic surgeons involved..in the meantime lots of rest and fluids... ok fine fluids...meaning more trouble from dad. He's still trying to drink normally knowing it won't go past the throat, fear of choking, and alot of vomiting..
So I take superman home, for the next week just as we suspected he loses even more wieght he's now sitting around 140lbs...no body fat no muscle. He's managing to get about 6 ensures in a day via feeding tube J tube. I notice he's starting to sleep more, Im sleeping less, about 45 mins a night if I'm lucky..with my fear he will just stop breathing..
This is the way it's been for the last 10 months or so..My life has become HIM, I do nothing but care for him make sure he's ok, Tending to the house and mundane tasks to take my mind off things coming in to check on him every 5 mins..Really hard to get anything done but Im trying my best. Im 35 my dad is 57 much to young to be facing this ..
Fast Forward to a week after the scope, We are sitting in his oncologists office, in the exam room Dr. Meyers walks in and sits down. He's been telling us all along stage IV stomach cancer ....my dad's cancer is odd. It's at the junction of the esophagus but considered stomach cancer...but the espohagus is involved..
Up at this point we have been told He has responded well the the chemo the 5FU therapy at first and the latest xeloda the tumor has shrunk ect. Of course Dr. Meyers had the result from the scope. Wasn't good. He told us he wanted to expedite an appt with thoracic. Ok fine.. I finally asked him point blank.. what's going to happen. I regret asking this now.
Only chance at this point...Thoracics being able to put a stent *shunt* in, will get him opened so he can enjoy food ect. Will buy some time maybe. I'm devastated...as we proceed to talk..well while I cry.. I've been a Rock through all this... I crumbled.
Dr Meyers has referred us to hospice.. Yes I said Us reguardless what anyone thinks as a caregiver we go through it the same as the person diagnosed.
I talked to the doctor not really knowing the criteria for a hospice referral I had heard 6-9 months expected left was criteria...Dr. Meyers said generally 6 months but I need to be honest Your dad has 1/3 of that most likely..I just sat there for what seemed like an eternity and finally looked up and asked "are you telling me 2 months????" Reality set in.. My dad has 2 months left?? I know this is just a guess but talk about bad news.
So here we are two days later..I've talked to hospice they will be coming in Day after Tomorrow, His Thoracic appt is Wednesday *my moms birthday*. I've made so many difficult phone calls that I can't even bare to hear the phone ring anymore. Had a really bad blow up fight with my dad yesterday and here I sit today feeling...I don't even know. Numb mad emotionally a wreck, I can go from laughing to crying in no time.
My grandparents will be here Tuesday from Ohio and Im trying to figure out how to hold myself together. I've always been the Rock there for everyone and the glue that holds my family together even in the midst of my dad's and my fight yesterday he just stopped and looked at me and said "Valerie I don't know why Im mad at you right now. You are the ONLY person that has ever been here for me even before I got Sick. I've trapped you in this with no way out, After I die You have to be here still, You are the one that always has been what held us together, and I know you, You will be the caregiver to so many others I want you to be ok" So at least after that things calmed down and I knew he Knows Im here for him.
But even with that said Im lost right now and guess Im looking for support and advice. How can I get myself back together here. So I can do what has to be done.