Monday, March 28, 2011

Update: Dad; Smile
Yesterday we went out to Perkins for a late breakfast before going to the hospice.  I love their french toast but I had fish and chips instead.  Mom had the french toast but I was good and didn't even ask for a piece.

We went to the hospice after and dad was just finishing his lunch.  He had cream of mushroom soup and a blueberry smoothie.  I spoke to Nurse Amanda prior to going into the room and she said that he was feeling tired.  He was very quiet - saying about 10 words at most.  I wheeled him into the bathroom to brush his teeth.  While he was doing that, I changed his bed linens and tidied up his table. He went back to bed as soon as he was done and settled in but didn't look too comfortable because he was too low on the bed.  I tried to move him up but I could not and he is not strong enough to push himself up on the bed. 

Around 1:00pm, my cousin Sunita from Florida called and she and her sister spoke to dad briefly.  Mom said that when dad was at home, Sunita called almost weekly to see how he was doing so we arranged for her to say just a quick hello.  Dad kept saying that he was doing well but from the length of the conversation, he is not.  Shortly after that, I called Uncle Deo in England and dad spoke to him for a couple of minutes as well. He told Uncle Deo he was doing well and wanted Uncle Deo to come from England and spend a day with him. I heard Uncle Deo tell to keep fighting but dad told him that it's time to stop fighting and that he wants to go.

On Friday Dr Hartley went to visit and dad was asking him about his sore mouth.  The Dr said that the cancer was now attacking the inside of the mouth so mom asked what would happen if/when the point came when dad would not be able to eat and Dr Hartley said that they could put a feeding tube into his stomach.  Dad absolutely refused to consider that.  He said he didn't want to live like that so when I heard him telling Uncle Deo that he wanted to go, I could see in his eye that he is tired of fighting.  And for any of you who know him well, he's put up a good fight in the last 5 years.  Logically, he should not have been here considering that he had 16-18 months. And logically, since the cancer invaded the lymphatic system more than 4 years ago, it should have spread to other parts of his body a long time ago, but so far, it seems to be contained in his head and neck (although most recently it has spread to his chest as well).  His face is completely disfigured on the right side and now distorted from the growth of the tumours on the left side.  Fortunately, if there is anything fortunate in any of this is that his pain  so far has been managed quite well with the pain meds. although he's getting higher and higher doses of it. 

Soon after I got him settled in bed, Tim (the lawyer) arrived with all the papers for the sale of the house.  Tim was asking on Friday if dad was coherent enough to know what's going on.  I told him that he not only knows but can ask any appropriate questions if he needs to.  Tim put the papers in front of him and the first thing he told Tim was that his name was spelled incorrectly in the legal documents.  He has a silent H in his name so Tim had to make the changes and dad initialled them.  Before he and mom signed, I asked Tim to explain all the documents so that they know what they are signing.  I DO NOT sign documents - no matter who asks me to - unless I know what I am signing.  And you should do the same.  I have also reminded my daughters that they are not to sign legally binding papers unless they know what they are signing.   Tim explained all the documents and dad and mom signed them.  

When he was done, Karran came back into the room and helped dad move into a comfortable position on the bed.  I adjusted his 4 pillows - yes 4. He sleeps on his left side and has two pillows for his head - one slightly overlapping the other, one for him to hug and one to brace his back.  That's how he likes his bed so that's how I fixed it.  He got comfortable and I covered his upper body with a crocheted cover and he settled into an on and off sleep.  During that time, two volunteers came into the room with a trolley full of good baking, tea and coffee.  They served it on fancy teacups and saucers so we each had a cup of tea and a half a slice of lemon cake.  It was as delicious as they said it was.  The volunteers and families of residents bring in the baking and the volunteers serve it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at the hospice.  It's such a lovely and generous thing to do.  They both walked into the room and said "Hello Dood!" as if they've been friends for a long time.  We stayed a bit more and when I heard dad snoring, we got up, kissed him and left.  

We went home and roasted some eggplant that Indi brought last week and had that for dinner.  For those of you not familiar with it, it tastes like the Greek Baba Ganoush and we had it with fresh roti. Yummm.  After dinner, mom and I baked a cake to take to the hospice today for the staff.  I did that a couple weeks ago and asked them to share it with each other.  Mom also took in some roti for a couple of staff members including Peter the part-time chef. He is really quite accommodating to dad's meal requirements as is Tracy the main chef who is away on holidays but made some curry sauce (go figure!) and left it in the freezer for dad to have while she is away.  I made some more stir fry with rice and some plantain and fish but everything is now blended so that they all look like soup - but they do smell yummy. 

By the time I went to bed last night, I felt like I had walked two marathons this weekend.  Actually I feel less tired after I have walked a half marathon than I felt at the end of this weekend.  However, things are moving along and we are getting some things done.  It's been two weeks since mom moved in and she seems to be a bit more settled now.  The house is sold, the new buyers are interested in some of the contents,we are starting to clean and get rid of stuff and we have started taking some of the perishable items over to my home. The list I made on Friday night for the things that have to be sold/given away/stored is helping us to get organized.  I think in another or previous life, I either must have or will organize things/events/etc.  It makes for more efficiency and I function better when I'm organized.  I was going to say that it's the teacher in my but I was organized way before I ever became a teacher.  If you're a mother, you'll know what I mean.    

Well, I hope the staff at the hospice enjoy the coffee cake full of maraschino cherries.  mom will be taking it there soon.  Next time I'll send some of the raisin bread that I bake.  I don't like raisins but I make raisin bread.  Robin and mom like it so they can enjoy it or I'll bake and take to the hospice where they can toast and enjoy. 

Happy Monday to all and smile at someone today for no reason...

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