My Dad

I got home on Thursday afternoon.  My wife called while I was waiting in customs.  I called her back as soon as I emerged and she told me that my father was in the hospital and that I should probably head up to see him.

A little back story.  My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June.  They determined it was inoperable and he has been on a palliative chemo treatment regime since then.  He had a few good months, but has been getting weaker since the beginning of November.  We all went out for dinner together the Saturday after Thanksgiving and was in good spirits through the whole meal.

He took a turn for the worse on Wednesday.  His wife had trouble waking him up and he was unable to walk unaided.  He was also confused about his surroundings.  She called the doctor, who told her to call an ambulance, and they took him in to the hospital.

I got up there Thursday and he was in rough shape. He was lucid at times, but he seemed unaware of the world on his right hand side.  Other times, he would lose track of what was going on and start talking about a project at work that he was leading more than 30 years ago.  The difference from Thanksgiving to now was striking.  But for short periods of time we were able to converse quite normally.    He dropped off to sleep after I was there for about an hour and I went home.  The performed an MRI on him later that night and found that the cancer had spread to his brain.

After a pretty lousy day at work on Friday, I headed up to see my Dad in the hospital.  He was lightly sedated, and asleep while I was there.  He is developing pneumonia which is likely to be what actually kills him.  He would come close to waking up, try to clear his lungs and then drop back to sleep.  During the day, they decided to move him to hospice, and around 7:30, a couple of EMTs showed up and got him all bundled up for the move.  After I saw him off, I came home.

Now I am trapped in the house by snow.  I’m hoping it clears soon so I can head up to see him.  I don’t really know what I am hoping to see when I get there.  All I know is I really want to be there.

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