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Monday, July 09, 2012

Preparing to Say Goodbye

If you've been reading my blog for a few years you might remember that in 2009 my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

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.

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27 comments:

nichole said...

Oh Michelle, I am so sorry about your dad. I'm sending thoughts and prayers your way.

my family said...

i know how difficult it is to lose someone from cancer, the process is so surreal. Keeping you all in my prayers at this time.

hugs

Amy said...

Heartbreaking...my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Junior said...

Michelle I am so very sorry to hear this. You, your dad, and family are in our prayers.

Stephanie said...

my heart is breaking for you and your family. Stay strong and lean on each other. All my love and prayers

ckbrylliant said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. Bless you for sharing your burden. I will be praying for strength and comfort for you and peace for your father.

Carey said...

Praying for you and your family!

Izzy, Emmy 'N Alexander said...

Michelle, Thinking of you and yours. *hugs*

Becca said...

Oh, Michelle, my heart is breaking for you and your family. I am so sorry. Strength and peace to you and your father during this difficult time. ((hugs))

Runningmama said...

Oh, I am so sad for you, cancer is a terrible beast! I will be praying for you and for your Dad.

RK said...

I'm so sorry that you're dealing with this, that you have to find a way to say goodbye so much earlier than you should. We'll be praying for comfort, peace, and strength for your whole family.

Mom24 said...

It's so unfair and not right. I'm very sorry Michelle. You're in my prayers.

Renee said...

Michelle, my heart goes out to all of you! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

You are in my prayers.

Tina said...

I went through the same thing with my mom, Michelle. I understand completely how you feel. Email me if you need/want to talk.

Sending hugs and prayers from here.

Tina

Cyndi J said...

Praying with you Michelle !

Trace said...

Oh Michelle, I am so, so sorry to read this! You're all in my prayers! xx

T said...

Thoughts and Prayers are with all of you <3

Deborah said...

Praying for him and you and the rest of the family.

Beth said...

I wish I had the right words for you - you have and continue to be in my prayers. Praying also for your dad and all of your family.

I remember making the drive home the day I knew would be the day my dad died. It's heart wrenching.

Hugs!

Kristi said...

Soo sorry:( You and your family are def in my prayers.

Holly Michael said...

Prayers for you and your father. Wanted to tell you that my husband is a pastor and we had a woman come who is expecting a baby diagnosed with downs syndrome. She doesn't want the baby. I showed her your beautiful child, and your posts and she loved the pictures. Something changed in her heart. Thank you! Holly

Bailey's Leaf said...

I'm so sorry. Please know that all of our prayers are with you and your family. Prayers for a peaceful passing for your father and for peace for all of you when that happens.

I'm so sad for you.

Stephanie Bissol said...

Thinking of you and your family during this hard time. I have not been on blogger in ages but thought I would stop in after reading your facebook. HUGS and PRAYERS for you all.

Cindy said...

Oh Michelle, I'm so sorry. It truly is hard to say goodbye. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

Corey~living and loving said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I have no idea how this feels, but I can only imagine how hard it is. My heart is with you and yours.

Ms. Kathleen said...

I am so sending hugs and prayers your way. I do understand what you are going through... My Dad died of the exact same thing in September of 2008. He also lived longer than they said, two years. I spent the last four weeks of his life with him. We took walks, prayed, he shared stories of his childhood... He wanted to die at home so the hospice nurses came there. They were wonderful and came at all hours of the night if needed. I so hate cancer. If you need anything I am here for you. Just message me on fb. HUGS!