We celebrated when he was declared in remission in 2010.
We were frustrated when it was discovered that the cancer metastasized to his liver in Nov 2011.
Over the past several months he's been through a lot. The cancer spread to his lungs. He was on his 3rd different chemo; side affects were awful. His CA19-9 (cancer marker in blood work) kept rising. It should be around 37. When his numbers reached 5000 he felt like chemo wasn't working any more and he discontinued it. He was still doing relatively well, considering. He would sometimes have a lot of pain, but mostly he kept active. He and his wife still took long walks, rode their tandem-bike, and camped.
In June, while we were in Denmark, we received word that he was in pretty bad shape - in a lot of pain - and checked in to the hospice house. They eventually got a morphine pump in his port and he was able to go home after several days.
We got back from Denmark on Sun and by Wed we were in FL. It was great seeing my dad and knowing he was 'ok.' even though he was on morphine.
The next day, Thur, he had swelling and pain in his leg and it was suspected that he had a blood clot. We later found out blood clots are common with pancreatic cancer. He checked in to the hospice house and by Fri evening was admitted to the hospital for treatment.
A few days later he went back to the hospice house for continued treatment and pain management and blood thinners for the 4 clots in his leg. We went home on Sunday.
We thought he would be going home soon after getting the blood thinners, but when he called me the following Sun he was still at the hospice house. He was in a lot of pain in his leg and wasn't able to walk. He didn't sound too well.
On Mon the kids and I drove back to FL. My dad had a great day on Wed - the 4th of July. He was peppy, lively, talkative, moving around a bit more, playing bingo with Kayla and Lucas.
We brought him outside to watch fireworks from the parking lot.
On Thur we stopped by to see him before heading home and he was a little out of it -definitely not how he was on Wed.
He's steadily declined since then. On Sat he started sleeping most of the time. He's hard to rouse awake and when he does wake he's experiencing 'terminal agitation.' His voice is hard to hear and he's extremely weak.
I went back to FL on Mon and the change in him is unreal considering how he was on Wed. The nurses at hospice think he might have a week. Of course no one knows when it'll happen, but he's going through the stages.
I can't believe I have to say goodbye to my dad. I'm just not ready. I'm not ready for him to not be here. I am so saddened that he won't be around to watch my kids grow up and they'll miss out on having "Pepere" in their lives.
As I was packing this morning I debated whether or not to pack an outfit that would be acceptable for a funeral. I wondered if I even have such an outfit. And I wondered if I didn't, how would I even go shopping for such an outfit? I hate this.
I hate seeing my dad like he is - so weak. I hate knowing his time is coming nearer. But I know he has fought a good hard battle with this pancreatic cancer - almost 3 years. Longer than they originally thought he would have.
I know his body needs some peace and to be pain-and cancer-free now. You can never prepare for saying goodbye to a loved one. No one ever said it was easy. Praying God will surround us all with some peace and strength during this time.