Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fighting Cancer Isn't Sexy - Part 19 - I am your son. Forever.


My Dad at the Nursing Facility with a furry friend

I went for a scan of my lungs today. I met with my lung surgeon afterwards & was thrilled to hear that my scan was clean. I have another scan in a couple of weeks for my liver etc....., but I'll take all the good news I can get!

I wrote once before about my Dad. It was in Part 6, about a year ago. Since then, things have gone from bad to worse. My Dad is losing his battle with dementia. My kind, loving, funny Father turned into a swearing, angry man. This has been a slow process over the years. What started at having trouble balancing the checkbook years ago, has progressed into a nightmare.

I will protect my Dad's privacy and not reveal too many details. But this experience has continued to wear on me emotionally through my cancer battle. Many days as I was struggling with pain, nausea etc., the biggest pain was in my heart. I cared for my Dad as best as I could. But I couldn't help him. When I wasn't home with him, he would call me constantly. It didn't matter that he had a home health aide beside him. He wanted his son. His boy. I would answer the simplest questions for him. Repeatedly. He would beg me to come home to be with him. I rushed home on numerous occasions to be by his side. It wasn't enough. When I had my lung surgery last month, he called my cell phone three times while I was in the recovery room right after the operation. Not to check on me, but to ask me to help him with lunch and to walk the dog.

Cancer is evil. But it can't touch the evil of dementia. My Dad's form of dementia allows him to remember me and all of our family. But it has changed his personality. I endure his swearing at me constantly and daily. I know it's not my Dad. It's the disease. But it still hurts. A lot. I tell him that I love him & he'll reply that he hates me. I treasure the moments when he is MY Dad. When he has a good moment and tells me that he loves me.

I couldn't take care of my Dad on a daily basis anymore. Even with a home health aide, he was failing. I couldn't calm him down. I couldn't make him happy. I couldn't do anything. Medications? Yup. Tried quite a number. Doctors? All shapes & varieties. He fell at home and was taken to the hospital a couple of weeks ago. He swore at the EMT workers and every nurse and doctor that cared for him. He was later moved to a nursing home. Despite being on a rehab floor and given constant care, he was still anxious, miserable and angry. After being there a week, the staff couldn't handle his angry outbursts. He was then transferred to a psychiatric facility for observation and medication adjustment. He's been there for a few days.

Why am I writing all of this? Writing about my cancer battle has been tremendously healing. It has helped me feel like I'm unloading all of my problems. Sharing my Dad's difficulties also helps me feel like part of a healing process. I don't need sympathy. I'm not fundraising for one of my charities. I'm just sharing my story. My Dad has been a great Father to me. He taught me how to care for the sick, the lonely and the disabled. He's my hero. Dealing with him over the past two years as I've fought colon, liver and lung cancer sucked. But my Dad? He's worth every moment.

When I visited him yesterday, he was behind the main, locked door. He was yelling through the window. "That's my son!!!!! That's my son!!!!!!" That's right Dad. I am your son. I will always be your boy. I love you.

Links:
Fighting Cancer Isn't Sexy
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14
Part 15
Part 16
Part 17
Part 18

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tears !

Lippy said...

Geno, we went through this with our beloved Grandpa. Full-blown Alzheimer's robbed our family of a wonderful, peaceful, loving man. All the years I knew him, I never heard him swear...and he was a truck driver.

We took the good times with the bad, but it was heart-wrenching. He struggled about three years before succumbing. I sympathize with ya, Geno, and wish I could do more than offer words and prayers.

I hope that you get as much of those good times as we did, to buffer the bad. And I hope that you continue to do well, my friend.

Geno said...

Thanks so much Jimmy. I love you buddy.

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