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Dad

My dad's scans came back clean. No tumors except for the two on his spine: one large and one small. From what my dad says, they're only going to operate to remove the large one, but that doesn't sound right to me. I'd think they'd want to get them both, but I may be wrong.

My dad is scared that he'll end up "crippled" (his word), because he's lost all use of his left leg. (This happened very fast, over the course of a week or so.) I theorized that he might be able to use his leg again after the surgery, but he seemed pessimistic. His balance problems from the brain tumor never really went away after surgery, after all.

He's also fretting about the long term. He's scared that the cancer will just come back somewhere else and they might not catch it in time. That's likely, though I didn't want to say so. This is the third time he's had surgery to remove a tumor. First in his lungs, then his brain, now his spine. It's scary. I mean, that seems like an obvious thing to say, but it's accurate. Cancer is fucking scary.

So he's talking to the doctors tomorrow about the treatment plan. Surgery seems like the clear first step, but that'll be followed by radiation again and perhaps chemotherapy.

I wish we lived close enough that visiting was a trivial thing. Or that we had plenty of money for me to go visit whenever I want to. I would like to be there now, but that's just not realistic. I'd like to visit one more time, but I'm not sure when to do it. Maybe October sometime? I don't want to leave it too late.

I've been trying not to get too upset. There's nothing I can do about it, after all. I cried some when I first found out about the new tumors, but now I'm okay. I try not to think about the long term. About him dying soon. I just focus on what's going on right now. That's the only way to remain sane.

I must admit, though, that I wonder how he'll die. Is that morbid? I think it is. I guess I wonder because I wouldn't want to miss on a chance to see him one more time, and I'm afraid he'll go quick. And yet it would obviously be kinder if he went quickly when the time comes. God, I feel terrible writing this. I just don't know much about how cancer works, and so I don't know how things will go in the end. I just want to see him again.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
cartman94501
Sep. 7th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC)

A lot of times people don't actually die from the cancer, they just need more and more morphine for the pain, and eventually the minimum amount needed to kill the pain is enough to suppress respiration and they just die quietly in their sleep. I think this is what happened to my mom - she was pretty much comatose for the last two days. The nursing home was undermedicating her, but once we brought in the hospice nurse, they were under orders to move her every two hours (she had had some bad bedsores in the past) and to give her liquid morphine before doing so. I suspect the overall amount of morphine she got in the last 10 days was dramatically more than it had been before. Perhaps it hastened her death. We'll never really know, but it certainly did ease her suffering.

Crap. This is making me teary. I really do miss her.

kimberly_a
Sep. 7th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry about your mom. I didn't mean to reopen old wounds.
cartman94501
Sep. 7th, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC)
That's okay. I miss her every day anyway. I constantly find myself wanting to call her up and tell her something. It's just weird not having her around. After all, she was around for the first 39 years of my life. I mostly just try to remember the good times, which, despite my carping, were many.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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