Dad May Leave Us Soon
I’m at my Mom’s home, five hours away from where I live now. The reason for this trip was supposed to be so that I could see my dad before the liver cancer got to the point where he couldn’t recognize anyone, but that’s pretty much out the window. When I arrived Friday afternoon, my mom had already called me to tell me he had gone unresponsive to the world when she saw him at lunch time.
Today is my dad’s birthday, he turned 58. We got him some balloons and a card, because there isn’t a whole lot else we could think to get him. Cake was out, because a) diabetes, and b) he can’t eat solid food (or any food right now). He already has plenty of blankets, and matchbox cars (Hot Wheels), and stuffed animals that sing and dance, and a TV/DVD player, and we could get him more clothes, but they won’t put them on him – they keep putting him in hospital gowns unless we demand otherwise.
So here’s what Bob, the director of nursing said to me: basically, Dad got a tumor serum test, and the normal results are around 0 to 6. Dad’s was three hundred sixty five thousand (365,000). So they’re pretty sure it’s cancer. They of course won’t do a biopsy to confirm, because it is ours and Dad’s wish that he not go through any unnecessary suffering. A biopsy would pretty much just go to answering someone’s curiosity about what kind of cancer. They also aren’t going to attempt to aggressively treat this with chemo, since that would be more suffering that wouldn’t improve his quality of life.
Since his blood is filtered by his liver, and that’s shutting down, not only is he yellow but his brain will continue to have trouble recognizing people and being oriented to the world until he passes. Bob says that based on the way Dad looks, we’ll be lucky if we have him another week.
Today, my grandma, Dad’s mom, came to visit him for his birthday, and Mom had to break the news to her, and she cried. I wanted to cry, but something in me wouldn’t let me cry in front of Grandma. So I sat there with her and Mom and Dad and eventually we got her talking and laughing again.
I don’t know when it’ll happen, and I’m sure that it won’t be easy. I know God is with us, and He’ll comfort us with His peace. God is good, in the times that are easy, and the times that are hard.
Pray for us and my Dad, and ask God to give me wisdom too – I’ve got to write a eulogy for someone who’s still alive.
Happy Birthday, Dad.