Friday, January 6, 2012
It's been a while since I've updated on my dad. There are so many of you who are praying, and I can't thank you enough for that. He (and we) feels your prayers and knows that God is working- even if we can't quite understand it.
He is still in the hospital. He has been moved to the continuing care unit- which was a rocky transition. The lack of communication between doctors, nurses, and my mom and dad was frustrating to put it mildly. After a few days of my mom making call after call after call, she finally got the answers they needed. They have placed him in Palliative Care- they are no longer treating his diabetes other than insulin shots to keep his blood sugar under control (it's been high due to one of the medications they put him on and is currently being weaned off of). He is not on a restricted diet any more and can eat whatever he wants when he wants. That has been a huge comfort to him- he was getting tired of the food that he had to stick to so having choices again has been a good mood booster. He also has been given different pain medications to help keep the pain under control. He currently has a pain patch that is running continuous medication through him which has helped to significantly lower his pain. Because his pain is better under control, he has been able to start physical therapy 2-3 times a day. He is able to walk with a walker, sit up in a chair for 20-30 minutes at a time, and very carefully walk up and down stairs! These are all such huge improvements from where he was 2 weeks ago and we are hopeful that these are all signs of moving in the right direction.
Today was dad's last radiation treatment. He will return to the radiologist in 6 weeks for another MRI to see if the tumors on his spine have shrunk. In the mean time, he is going down to Indianapolis on Monday for a consultation with a specialist. After fighting insurance, Mom finally got them to agree to pay 75% of the cost for an ambulance to take him down to Indianapolis- there was no possible way that dad could sit in the van for that long of a trip. Coincidentally, the specialist he is going to see is the same doctor that treated Lance Armstrong!! We are confident that he will have some treatments that will prolong dad's life for hopefully a few more years.
Right now, we are hoping to get him home by the end of next week. However, he will need assistance. There is a local cancer service organization that has provided dad with a hospital bed, bedside commode, walker, wheel chair and shower seat for use at home for as long as he may need it. We are so thankful for organizations like this who are so willing to help. God sure has been providing.
We are in good spirits. We all have our moments of sadness and shock, but we are hopeful. We realize the reality of what we are facing and sometimes words like "terminal," "life expectancy," and "palliative care" are hard to deal with. However, despite those words, we are taking one day at a time and making the best of it. We are leaning on the generous prayers and love from others, and we are rejoicing in the small triumphs along the way.
Thank you all so much for your continued prayers and support. They truly do mean the world to us.