Sunday, March 30, 2008


This past ten days have been so hectic. My father had an intestinal blockage and ended up in the hospital for surgery. We know he is in congestive heart failure and he seems to be weaker, little by little. They did an ultrasound and found that a spot on his liver observed a year ago was bigger. During the surgery the surgeon removed it stating it was "bigger than a golf ball and very ugly." We learned on Thursday that it was malignant and an oncologist was brought in. I was surprised at how hard my mother seemed to take that news. One day when we were discussing his heart she said "When he goes I will lose my fighting partner." They have always disagreed and fought over the years. When my father did try to be affectionate she pushed him away.
It seems strange now to see her being caring. He comments that she is too old to be caring for him.

My job has me working at least 42 hours a week. My work schedule coincides with hospital visiting hours. We were at the hospital several times last weekend but I didn't seem him during the week. He finally came home after spending several days in ICU, a few on the ventilator.
He is very weak and has a visiting nurse and a walker. The end seems to be in sight. I told my mother that he has had a long and good life. She says life is never long enough. I just keep thinking about my sister-in-law who died leaving a young child. My father has seen his children grown and their children, even the youngest grandchild just got his driver's license. He now has three great grandchildren. My mother seems frustrated when I point out to her that we all have to die one day. I don't know how she will handle it when the time comes.

I was trying to think of good things about my father and the one thing that came to mind was a pearl of wisdom he once gave me. We were discussing my ex husband. My father felt that he could provide me with financial security and that should be enough. I told him that just wouldn't cut it for me. During our conversation I told him that it was odd that supposedly the opposite of love was hate. I don't hate my ex or anyone else. My father pointed out the opposite of love is not hate but apathy. I then pointed out that my ex had never showed up in court for our divorce hearing. He had never once asked me NOT to divorce him. My father then admitted that he finally agreed that the ex no longer loved me. From then on he never tried to tell me I made the wrong decision. There was another bit of wisdom he gave me too.

This year it felt like we didnt have Easter. We were all on pins and needles and my father was in ICU on a respirator and not doing well. We went to church and there was no family gathering or dinner. Instead Rob and I went to a diner. For the first time ever there were no Easter decorations or baskets. I did manage to pick up a chocolate rabbit for my son. He just got that today. I think it was so hard telling him today that the tumor was cancer. When my son was diagnosed with leukemia my father promised him he would be alright. He went on a fast for seven days, a real fast and prayed during that time for his grandson. He promised him that he would live and he did. He told him that one day he would look back at the chemo and think of it as an inconvenience but a lesson in life. That came true.

So tonight I try to keep all things in perspective. The glass is not half empty or half full. It is what it is....four onces of water. I am a realist. I know far more about cancer than I wish I did.
I don't force the knowledge on other family members, I let them think whatever they want to be comforted. I know that time is limited and in the meantime I have to go through the days doing the best that I can. On Saturday I made my father's favorite dish that I make and took it over and had dinner. First real meal he had in about ten days. He was appreciative. The little things are what matter now. I have to do everything I want to NOW.

1 comment:

alphawoman said...

Nelle, I am so sorry to read about your Dad's troubles. I hope that he is cradled in the arms of all who love him. You and your Dad will be in my thoughts and prayers.