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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Update on Dad
Yesterday Dad had several visitors.  Fist Mom and her friend June went from 10am-1:00pm and so did Karran.  Just after they left, 3 other friends - Meena, Julie and Savitree - from the Dharmic Sabha Mandir went to visit and the took some food and parsad.  After they left, Sophie and Sharm went to visit from 3:30-6:00pm.  Of course dad had to ask where I was so Sophie had to give him a little pep talk that he has to appreciate those who are there and stop asking for Sandra.  He said I had not visited for 3 days but Sophie reminded him that I was there on Thursday.

We took Mom to the theatre for the matinee at 4pm.  The play "The Shunning" was very sad but really well done.  We went out for dinner (and bought some sweets to take for Dad) after and then to a Chinese supermarket where I stocked up on some nice fresh fruits and veggies.

This was a very busy day of cooking and preparing for this afternoon's visit to the hospice.  I cooked some of the veggies, I made some curried fish (gilbacka) with eddoes and okras, rice, and some soup with homemade chicken broth, eddoes and zuchini.  I took the curry, rice and soup for dinner and Sophie made a super creamy rice pudding. 
When we arrived at the hospice, we warmed up the dinner and had a feast.  Dad really enjoyed the curry but he found it a bit spicy even though I didn't add any pepper (this from the man who could eat a raw scotch bonnet pepper without flinching and now can't handle anything spicy at all). He even had a scotch with Robin (well about  a tablespoon) but he said that he could have a "tup" every once in a while.  I don't know if that was even a "tup" but he thought it was enough.  He enjoyed the almond barfi, carrot barfi and the ladoo.  When he was done he made sure to check to see if there was any curry left over and to leave it in his fridge so he could have it for another couple of meals.  I thought the roast beef and gravy that was on the menu sounded appealing but he quite enjoyed what he was eating. 

He told me that yesterday Julie asked him if he could choose one favourite dish to eat what would that be and he said gilbacka curry.  I told him that I was quite clever to read his thoughts in anticipation of his needs so that's why I made gilbacka curry.  Good thing for an oversize freezer which appears to grow large quantities of food on its own (not really but I have to stop buying excesses of everything as if I think there will be a famine in the next week). 

In terms of his physical health, his breathing is getting a bit more laboured and he is still on the oxygen but doesn't remember that he uses it at night too. He has developed a bit of a cough but we had some cough syrup at home so Mom brought it for him.  His feet were quite swollen but he is now wearing his compression stockings so that has helped as well.  We'll likely have to get a larger pair though because the swelling is more than he's had before.  His lips are huge and look like they were stung by several bees but I think it's the tumour growing and sometimes it does not allow the lymphatic fluids to drain as they should so they back up into his face.  The way I am saying this, you'd think I have some expertise in this but it's mostly my experience dealing with this cancer for the last 5 years. 

I don't know how much I can stress this to anyone reading these posts but the sinlge most important lesson I learned in the last five years is that anyone going through any kind of serious illness NEEDS A PATIENT ADVOCATE.  If you can provide that support to someone in need, please do so or if you need that kind of help, please ask someone close to you to be that person. 

Mom is sleeping over tonight and she'll spend Valentine's Day with Dad.  She left his room to get a cup of tea for herself after dinner and he said that the nurses came into his room and asked him who put up the Valentine's streamers of hearts and flowers on his window and the little chocolate balloon on his dinner table.  he told them that his wife did it and then he told us that before they were married, she was the one who taught him about Valentine's Day.  He was remembering that she worked at Kawall's and she would come out of the store on Valentine's Day with her card for him.  He said "trust her to remember!"  Makes me think that in 58 years of marriage there is the good, bad and ugly but in the end, what should matter is the good because the bad and ugly can consume you if you let it but if you focus on the good, surely it will make the passing easier to bear. 

I won't be visiting Dad tomorrow because I will be attending a workshop titled LGBTT* INITIATIVE - ALLY TRAINING (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-Spirit) which basically means that I am attending the workshop to learn to to be an ally for LGBTT people.
That's the update as of today.

Wishing you a Happy Monday.  
sandra

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