Friday, November 30, 2012

Never Knew What Pure Agony Looked Like Before

I am writing today because I don't feel like crying anymore. Maybe if I just type out all of my emotions, then the tears will stay where they belong. I just put together and cleaned up dinner for my parents and as Daddy went back to bed, I had to hold my breath so my emotions wouldn't come out. Getting into bed usually brings him some pain and discomfort, so I try to help him when I can. But just now, it took almost twenty minutes for him to get comfortable and for the pain to subside. Lifting his legs up into the bed made him let out yells of pain that I have never heard from him before. Leaning back onto the mattress brought just this sound of complete agony out of him, and it just did not subside. "Holy Hell", and "Oh my God." and ughhh.... I had to walk out of the room to catch myself from just falling into a ball and crying.

Today was his last day of his 4th round of Sutent. The pain should not be this bad at the end of a chemo cycle, it should be better!! Scans are schedules for Wednesday morning and I am not looking forward to the news they bring, this sudden increase in pain can only mean one thing to me, the tumors are growing again. I feel sick to my stomach just typing those words. The next 5 days are going to be nothing but stress and emotions until the results of the new scans are given to us, but at this rate, I don't even want to know what they'll say. If it's bad news, then the doctors might as well just not tell us because I don't want to have to look at Daddy and differently or treat our lives any differently than we already do. This sucks.

My parents are both literally falling apart... Momma went back to work yesterday after finding out that she now has shingles over the weekend. She though it was getting better, but shingles had a different idea. She had to stay home from work today, in some pretty awful pain. She was able to come down for dinner, but then went right back up to bed to take some more pain medication. Both of my parents are just in constant pain at this point and I just cannot handle it, not even a little bit. Plus, my mom is dealing with her father, my Pa, being hospitalized right now. They won't let him go home because his heart beat keeps fluttering. And her little brother, my favorite uncle, was advised by his precinct's doctor to stay home from work until next week with a very serious case of bronchitis. The Irish superstition is that bad things come in mom, her dad, her brother, all get sick at once... I will never doubt this superstition ever again.

Well, the point of this post was successful, no tears for me. I still can't breath with ease but I'm sure I'll calm down eventually... actually probably not until Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hurting All Over

Watching Daddy completing his limited day to day tasks, he hurts. Sitting up, standing up, sitting down. By far the worst though is when he lays down into bed, I have to close my eyes and pretend I'm not hearing the sounds of agony coming from him, otherwise I'd cry every single time. Once he's laying down for a little while the pain subsides and I can tuck his legs and feet under the covers for him. Chemo makes it worse, cold makes it worse, being up in his wheelchair for a while makes it worse, but nothing makes it better. Sometimes I try to convince him to let me bring his lunch or dinner to his bed and ill eat there with him just so that I don't have to witness his agony getting to the kitchen table. Plus, usually after he eats lunch he will just pass out, sleep is good, very good, but he sleeps a lot lately... With the December 5th CT scans coming up so quickly, my mind races...

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

He is Mine

Cancer is a daily struggle
As mortals all we can do is pray
For strength to win this fight
Yet he knows he won't win his battle
"I love you"
it's not enough to just say

He sleeps and sleeps
As the cancer eats away at his body
But his chest will still rise and fall
He is still able to go on somehow
The tears, and pain, through it all

There is only so much strength left
Only so much more time
God will ask for him back soon
What he doesn't seem to understand is
He's my Daddy and He is Mine.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Such an Uncomfortable Realization

When I realized that my Daddy was okay with dying...

My parents have had some ups and downs with finances from even before Daddy was diagnosed, but definitely after. I had dinner the other night with my parents and Daddy swallowed his bite of food, looked at my mom and told her that she will need to refinance the house soon. She asked why? We are making ends meet with your social security checks. Daddy responded, "when I die, you will need to refinance the house so you can fix it up how you've always wanted to and to live comfortably while you finish out your 25 years until retirement." I was surprised that Momma wasn't surprised by this. I kept chewing my food so that words couldn't come out of my mouth and that my facial muscles were too busy to look upset by what Daddy had just said. He said it with such ease, and poise, I just couldn't believe he had really said that. They continued to talk about how refinancing works, like Daddy's death wasn't a prerequisite to all of these decisions happening. I wasn't hungry anymore, so I just started to clean up the dinner plates and putting away left overs. When my ears picked back in on the conversation they had changed subjects and moved on, thank God. I am happy that Daddy is accepting what is eventually going to happen because it will allow him to look forward to his days left instead of living them in fear of dying. But, at the same time the fact that he has come to terms with his death worries me because I don't want him to be giving up hope, he can't give up hope. Then, I look at Momma and how she handled it and I know she is just in denial for now and getting by day by day but... She needs to start taking care of herself too. Her hip hurts so much that she cannot walk, he was losing weight this time last year and that has completely reversed itself. She never sleeps enough, she never looks or sounds rested. I wish I had the money to send her to a spa, but I have yet to find work. I don't really want to work, I want to spend time with Daddy, but my parents can't keep lending me money, I have to get a job an lose my time with Daddy and that really upsets me...

On another note, I have convinced Momma to go to our local funeral home with me this next week. I finally convinced her, that in the end it'd be the easier thing to do. We need to just go, make all the decisions, and have it all set up in advance. So that when Daddy does die, we can just call the funeral home and they will know exactly what to do. I know that one of Daddy's wishes is to be cremated, and to have his ashes spread on a baseball field. He swears he doesn't care what field, it could be a rec field, but I know where he really wants to be, the Bronx. In my free time now, I plan out how the hell I am going to sneak his ashes into Yankee stadium, let alone get them onto the field. Thinking about this though, it helps. It helps me to come to terms with the fact that Daddy is going to die, and it will be soon. There is no chemotherapy cure for stage four kidney cancer. But I cannot think of what I will do after he is gone, I just can't.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The 4th Round of Sutent

The fourth round of chemo is a mile marker for many cancer fighters. That fourth round usually is followed by a second or third set of scans to mark the diseases regression or progression. Also, the fourth round is usually when a lot of chemo's are changed in dose or changed completely.

Daddy is in the midst of his fourth round of Sutent. However, his sixth round of chemo all together because his first chemo failed him. The last round of Sutent was terrible when it came to side effects. The mouth sores were unbearable. Daddy found it so hard to eat that he lost enough weight that his wedding ring and claddaugh ring easily fall off now. The fatigue was so great that Daddy would only get out of bed to use the bathroom and to occasionally come to the dinner table. He broke out in what is called Sutent Rash, as well as shingles. Chemotherapy lowers your immune system, the shingles were a million times worse due to this, I will spare your gag reflexes and leave it at that. Daddy is in a lot more pain these days as well, I have to help him lift his legs into bed, and he can't help but moan as I do. He has to catch his breath and let all the pain subside once he gets into bed before I can put his blankets over him. I think this is what breaks my heart the most...

This round of Sutent will be followed by a set of scans. Last set of scans showed that Daddy's cancer was stable, no new growth. With how much pain he has been in, I do not think we are going to be getting those same results with next month's scans. I am just happy that the second week of December will mark a whole year with my Daddy that doctors said I wouldn't have. A whole year being kidney cancer warriors, our lives have changed... Completely.

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