Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Dad is dying. I am sitting in a hallway at OHSU awaiting the removal of the esophageal stent we had hoped would allow him to eat. It was a failure. The stent slipped below the tumor and rested against the wall of his stomach. He cannot eat. It has been 10 weeks since his diagnosis. He has had no treatment other than an incomplete round of chemotherapy. Insurance has not allowed him to come to OHSU until now. The doctors at the local hospital seem content to let him die. They speak of pain relief and hospice. They speak of quality of life and how the cancer cannot be cured. Duh!! We know that. We know he cannot defeat the beast. The tumor is aggressive and angry. We are treated like we are stupid. Dad will die but not today and not without a fight.
Chemotherapy and radiarion can give him weeks. It may even give him months but nothing has been done. I am reminded of the time Kaiser Permanente told me that giving me Provenge was a waste of resources. Is that what we have come to as a society? My perception is that the medical community has lost its faith and its compassion. Death panels have become a reality. Insurance companies make decisions who to treat and what medications to treat them with.
My dad is 73 years old and just a few months ago he was on the Columbia river in his boat salmon fishing with my mom. Looking at dad now I can see why the doctors are reluctant to try but they are wrong. If they were only ingesting 500 calories a day they would look just as fragile as my dad does. They would be too weak for chemo as well. Dad needs nourishment, hydration , and treatment.
The Doctors at OHSU seem to feel he is stong enough for treatment. They have not lost hope but unfortunately he has to go home and his fate will be in the hands of doctors who are forced to answer to some bean counter working for united healthcare.
Dad is dying. Just like everybody else. What is it that makes his life less valuable. I am angry. My frustration is all consuming and I have taken it out on those who I love the most. There are two local doctors who have come close to a punch in the nose.
His stent was removed successfully. The surgeon believes that the initial Chemo shrunk the tumor and caused the stent to slip. I hope we can get the local doctors to jump on board. The surgeon believes he can now eat. If he can eat he can get stronger. If he is strong he can fight. My dad is a fighter. I learned from him.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Friday, August 21, 2015
This post is for me. It is not about Prostate cancer. It is not about treatments. Cancer can wait. My heart is sick. I have never known such pain. I am writing this entry because I don't know what else to do. My dad is going to die. Each day it becomes more apparent.
My dad is the man of steel. He is my hero. Everything I ever learned I learned from him. There was nothing he couldn't do once he set his mind to do it. He use to carry me to bed on his shoulders. I thought he was the strongest man in the world. He tought me to hunt and fish. He taught me to ride a bike. He and mom always knew what to get a 12 year old boy for christmas and birthdays. He bought me my first guitar. He introduced me to Waylon Jennings, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard. He gave me my first b.b. gun, bow, and hunting knife. He taught me to respect my mom. He took off his belt and tanned my hide when I needed it. He showed me it was okay for a man to cry. He taught me to fight for what you believe in. He was strong enough to watch me fall when I messed up my life. He was there to to help me up when the prodigal son came home. He taught me to water-ski. He taught me to build. He taught me how to work on cars, do plumbing, and electrical. He taught me how to say I am sorry and to swallow my pride when I was wrong. He taught me that a man may not like going to work every day but a man supported his family. He worked at a place he hated for 39 years and 11 months. I asked him the day he retired at age 58 why he didnt stay 40 years to get bis gold watch. He said they could keep their frigging watch. Fibre was in the rear view and he didn't need a watch on his wrist to remind him of it. Now it appears he has one lesson left to teach me and I am not ready to learn it.
Dad is 73. He and my mom have been married for 53 years. It wasn't always a bed of roses but their love is eternal. They knew that marriage was a hard road but quitting was never an option. For better or worse meant something. I heard my dad say the F-word one time. It sounded out of place. Dad is too young for this. He is a young vibrant 73 and seeing him like this is breaking my heart. If there was one consolation to having advanced prostate cancer it was knowing I would never lose my parents. I am glad that they won't have to lose a son to cancer or watch me die. I am learning just how hard it is to lose someone you love. We lost gramma and grampa but they were really old and it was hard but not lime this.
I am holding on by a thread. I have to. My mom needs me. She is as tough as a barnyard rooster but the cracks in her armour are starting to show. Her heart is breaking. I feel helpless and weak.
I still have hope that treatment will help but they have not started any treatment yet. He spent last night in the hospital with severe pain. He appears broken and small. He looks defeated. It is a difficult thing to witness. If you read my blog and believe in God and our lord Jesus, please pray for my mom and dad. Thank you for reading. Todd
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Friday, May 8, 2015
Monday, May 4, 2015
Friday, May 1, 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Monday, April 20, 2015
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Monday, February 9, 2015
Saturday, February 7, 2015
It has been a long time since I have written. I'm afraid I haven't been inspired. It takes time to write and lately time has been a precious commodity. Work takes up a great deal of my time and with an unresolved labor dispute hanging over our heads I am afraid my mind has been distracted.