Jan 12, 2010

Update from Missouri

Thank you all so very much for all of your kind wishes, good thoughts, and prayers. I can feel them and I know they are helping. Please keep 'em coming.

The flight here did not do me in at least, and I got here just fine. It was a shock to see how tiny my dad has become and see him so sick so suddenly. Everyone here that sees him regularly tells me this came so fast and so hard. Hearing that makes it hard to imagine that he will linger a year as the prognosis seems to foretell. His doctor came to the house last night and said that the prognosis is a year but given my dad's heart troubles and not knowing where all the cancer has reached, it really can be any time. My dad is very very thin and can only lay on his left side to get any comfort and is still in pain then. He isn't all that weak yet, but can't sit up long enough to eat and doesn't want to eat anyway. We are giving him ensure as often as he will take it and trying to force small amounts of food but we don't get very far with that. He has a complication that is going to make this tough in that he can't have too strong a pain med or it makes his blood pressure drop too low. So he's kind of in a pickle there and I think that may make the end come sooner than later. He is going in for a bone scan Monday to see if the cancer has spread to his back bones where they can hit it with radiation to relieve the pain, but there will be no change in his prognosis.

Gall bladder cancer is very uncommon and very hard to find. It doesn't form a mass or tumor that is easily seen by any kind of medical imaging. And, usually, once it's found it's too late to treat well. But, it definitely started in the gall bladder and has likely spread to other areas like his back bones and there is some indications that it might be just now starting to affect his kidneys and pancreas, based on lab results from bloodwork. They are not going to do any other looking as it wouldn't change anything anyway.

Okay, so that's all the clinical reality side of this - still lots of unknowns. I am fine. I only break down a bit when people tell me mushy stuff and then the love and emotions kind of overwhelms my emotions a bit. But, I feel strangely matter of fact about this right now. Maybe I cried so much before I came that I have some room in my head to deal with it. The hardest part right now is having to be away from my family and not having my own support group here in person. I think that kind of makes me be tough until someone tells me something mushy and then I go to my soft side. My mom died many years ago so I have no family or personal friends here other than my dad's wife who he married about 4 years ago. She's wonderful but needs some TLC herself so I am kinda taking care of both. We will be calling in hospice in the next few days, maybe while my brother is here. My husband Kent is coming Thursday to Sunday just to see my dad and talk to the doctor and do a couple of chores around the house with my brother. My brother will be here a week and then won't be able to come much after that because of work. I think he only has 3 weeks of leave so we need to use it only when we absolutely need to.

So that's the story. I'm hoping in the next few days we'll all kind of settle into this and get my dad a little better taken care of or leveled off and then I might try to do some blog visiting and maybe even some collage sheet work if Kent can bring me my wacom tablet and get photoshop installed on my laptop this weekend.
Photobucket

21 comments:

Anita Van Hal said...

still thinking about you...good to see an update from you so soon...please know that heartfelt prayers are still going up for you and your family...try to rest when you're able...hospice will help a lot...be sure to share with them any concerns or questions you have...that's what they're there for...hugs!

Carrie said...

thanks so much for the update! i and I'm sure many others have been thinking of you and praying for you and your dad. Please try and keep strong and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers! lots of hugs to you...as i'm sure you could use them!!!! if you need anything....PLEASE let me know!!!

lilylovekin said...

Thank you for the update. It sounds like things are pretty tough there. I'm glad you have Hospice coming in, they are a wonderful organization and will really help.

Jill said...

Your strength is coming through, you will surprise yourself with what you cope with - very best wishes

Hayley Egan said...

Lots of love to you. X

yoborobo said...

Hang tough, Marsha. You are doing a great job, and hospice is going to help so much. I'm so sorry, and I hope they can manage your Dad's pain soon. I'm sending you love and hugs and strength - xoxoxoxo Pam

Janny said...

A big hug, is all I can give you x

Jamie said...

Thank you so much for updating us Marsha. Hospice will be a real help to you all. I hope that the doctors can find something for pain that won't lower his blood pressure. I am so glad your Honey is coming up soon. I am thinking of you and your family Sweetie. Love, Jamie

TheresainMS said...

Marsha, you are always in my thoughts and prayers. I stop several times a day and just send up prayers and send out good thoughts towards Missouri and you. Let Hospice help as much as they can; they're there to help you as well as your Dad. Remember that you are so loved and thought of often by all of us.

Much love,

Theresa

Linda Cain said...

This all so heartbreaking. You're in my thoughts and prayers.
Linda

Audrey said...

Still thinking of you and your dad! Audrey X

Leslie said...

Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking about you and your dad.

Stacey said...

Prayers going out to your dad and your entire family! {{BIG HUGS}}

cindy said...

Hi Honey, So very, very saddened to hear about your Dad. I went through cancer with my Mom and so I have abit of an idea of what you are going through. Sending hugs and prayer your way.

-c
yapping cat

Kelly said...

thanks for the update. glad you made it there and are able to spend time with your dad.

Gall Bladder cancer is what my mom died of. Not easy to diagnose and they figure it took longer to diagnose because she was on cholesterol medication which masked the symptoms of gall stones (my understanding is that gall stones can turn cancerous but usually when someone suffers from gall stones attacks, they are removed long before there they can become cancerous.)

take care!

Ocean Lotus said...

wishing you strongness and peacefulness with all this...talk and share with your dad, even if you are not the mushy type or he is not...i'm thinking of you and your family...take care...

Melissa said...

Marsha-
My thoughts and prayers are with your dad and you.
Big hug-
Melissa

Tammy said...

Marsha, I am sending a great big bear hug your way, lady. You sound as though you are handling things one day at a time and being matter of fact about all of this. I am sure you are being strong for your father and stepmother. I know they appreciate you being there. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Hugs,
Tammy

di from di-did-it said...

I've been offline for awhile and just now catching up a bit and read about your dad. You are an angel to drop everything and travel to be with him. He needs you and you need this. I'm sending you loads of luv-n-hugs.

NancyB said...

Hang in there girl! Sending good thoughts and prayers~! xoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I am sending lots of well wishes to you, and I am here for you!!! My father was recently diagnosed with stage III small cell lung cancer. I visted with him in December and plan on going back towards the end of this month. I had taken lots of pictures of him as well as video. If there is anyway that you can take some video of your dad...I truly believe that is something that you will treasure. I have already previewed some of what I had taken in December and it is already so meaningful and special to me...I will always have his voice...

Again, I am here for you, I send a prayer that your dad is comforted, and I send positive thoughts for your dad, you and your loved ones.

Many many hugs are sent your way!!! joAnne / takeabreak