9 Week Update

My dad is doing really well right now.  He finishes his chemo and radiation this Friday.  His doctors are amazed at how well he is tolerating it all.  He isn’t on any steroids, anti nausea or antibiotics.  Which I guess is very uncommon.  Most patients are taking at least one of the above if not all.  He does take an anti-seizure medication 3 times a day, but that is standard for anyone that has this type of brain tumor.  He has never had a seizure though before or after being diagnosed.  He is in good spirits and very grateful for all everyone has done for him and still doing for him.  He gets very emotional, which I have mentioned before, whenever I talk to him or see him.  This is an adjustment for him because he is a very level person.  He doesn’t get angry ever, and I have only seen him cry twice in my life.  Both at funerals for his brother and his mom.

He has only lost a little hair where the radiation is going in his head.  He gets really tired at the end of the day and has to take a few naps during the day.  He is still forgetful and repeats a lot of things in a conversation.  He still looks to my mom to validate his answers to questions to make sure what he is saying is correct.  But his sense of humor is back and that makes me happy.

They will do another MRI after the chemo and radiation are over.  This will map out where the tumors are now and see if they have stopped growing or have gotten smaller/bigger.  After that he will have to do a week of chemo and radiation every 6 weeks I think.

So right now everything is great.  We feel very lucky that he is doing so well, especially since we know others that are going through the same thing that aren’t.  When I see/read what they are going through right now it makes my heart ache.  Knowing that is in my future, near future, scares me.

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Would You Want To Know?

Today I am a 6-7 on the cry scale.  I don’t know why.  I actually had a pretty good week last week.  Stayed at a constant 3 I would say until yesterday.

There has been a thought/question in the back on mind that has been slowly creeping up on me.  My birthmother Rachelle and I talked about it yesterday.  She actually brought it up, which made me feel better knowing that I wasn’t the only person that had thought about this.

Would you rather have someone die suddenly or know that their time was short and that you still had some time with them?  In the past I always thought I would rather know that they were dying so I had time to prepare myself and say goodbye.  Now I am starting to think differently.

I am so glad I do have this time with my dad before he dies.  I am glad I can tell him I love him every day.  I am glad I know to make these next months (years?) special.  But in another way it is slowly chipping away at my soul knowing it is all a waiting game.  When I talk to my dad on the phone every night I wonder if he will still remember me the next day.  I know I am going to see my dad go downhill and probably lose his memory and personality again. I know we will have to decide when to start hospice care sooner than later. I know there is a funeral in the near future.  I know we are going to have to deal with the aftermath of it all and help my mom get through it.   I know all this is coming and I hate it.

It has overtaken my life.  It sneaks in my head all the time. I dream about it. (Even the Xanax I take can’t take away the dreams.) I love to read, but I can’t read books right now.  Anything that has to do with death, cancer, sick people etc. I just can’t get through it.  I have minimized my TV watching.  Now I really only watch mind numbing shows like King of the Hill or Everybody Loves Raymond.  Shows where the chance of someone dying is pretty slim.  I was trying to watch Grey’s Anatomy from start to finish on Netflix and had to stop.  Someone always dies on EVERY show.  Couldn’t do it anymore.  This is no way to live a life.

Yes, I know in reality we are all dying.  We should take advantage of everyday with the ones we love.  Tell them we love them every day. Don’t take any time for granted.  But we are human, and we forget.  This impending death of my dad is just staring me in the face and I am going to lose the contest.  I will look away first.

The Cry Scale

I’ve started rating my days between 1-10.  1 being I think I can make it the whole day without crying and 10 being I am going to lock myself in the bathroom and not come out.  (I choose the bathroom because that is the only room the 4 year old will semi leave me alone in.)  I have never been at a 1, but for that matter I have never been at a 10 either.  Today is a 6.

I can go for a few hours and not think about my dad’s cancer and then WHAM, I remember.  Oh yeah….this sucks.

The only real sign that my dad is sick right now is that his hair is really short (they had to shave his head completely for his surgery) and that he does repeat /forget a lot and have to look to my mom for answers to questions sometimes.  He has his sense of humor back.  He calls us all by our nicknames, something he has done our whole lives, but stopped before the tumor was diagnosed. (That was another clue something was wrong.)  The chemo and radiation have shown no outward physical symptoms on him.  He hasn’t lost his hair.  He isn’t throwing up or nauseous.  He says the only thing that is different is he gets tired a lot faster.  He takes a lot breaks throughout the day.

He is very emotional now.  Which I’m sure doesn’t help me stay below a 5 on the cry scale.  He is so appreciative of everyone and everything.  I guess that is how I would be knowing my time was short.  He gets teary eyed when he sees us and when I talk to him on the phone.  I call him every day and he is always so grateful that I called.  I don’ t know if it because he forgot I called him the day before, or if he is just feeling like I am in that I want to make the most out of every minute I can with him.

It has only been 44 days since my dad was diagnosed.  It feels like a lifetime.