Friday, January 28, 2005

Well, the news is not good. There is no hope.

This is the response I received from the Dr. today.

"Your father's health is rapidly failing and any gains that he makes will be quickly lost as the cancer aggressively advances. Look to the present and enjoy each day with him. I can expect further problems to occur, including, a worsening of his anemia, problems with the anticoagulation, worsening problems with the sodium and oxygenation and so on. I know you are concerned about his health and I agree that he should be home if that is where he wants to be. Hospitals are fine but being in one's own surroundings with a supportive family is far more important."

So, that's it I guess. We are preparing to bring Dad home today by ambulance. As the doctor suggests I will make the most of this time and enjoy what I can. For the most part "My Dad" is already gone. His personality is changed to the degree that this past week I've even wondered if the cancer has spread to his brain. If you are lucky enough to have your parents, call them today and tell them you love them.

These next few weeks will be nearly unbearable for me. I spend more time crying than not crying. I'm on the verge of tears all the time. Now I have to think of what I should say to my Dad next time I see him. It will be the first time after knowing his condition is terminal. Maybe we won't have to say anything. It's a very sad day for me. My heart is broken.

Thank you all for being here. I wish I had more to offer. Something fun or funny to say. Something to give back to you for hanging in there with me through this. Here I am practically a stranger and depending on you to help me through one of the most difficult times in my life. I wish I had more to give back now but I just don't have it in me. I'm sorry to be so down and depressing. I know it's not easy being a friend to someone with so much negative stuff going on.

My employer yesterday came in my office and told me not to worry at all about losing my job. That they are standing behind me and are there for anything I need. They said for me to take off the time I need, do whatever it is I need to do and there is no chance of me losing my job. While in a way I sort of knew that it was nice to hear it. To have it confirmed. For the words to be spoken out loud. Of course I need to work because no work, no pay, but also right now I need a little space.

Just like when I come here and read your words of support. I know they are there anyway but to read them again and again has great meaning and gives strength to me.

That's all I know to say for now except again, thank you.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Me and My Dad Posted by Hello

Dad did break his femur bone

He is scheduled for surgery at 9:30 AM tomorrow morning. We're leaving today to stay in a hotel near the hospital. Dad is comfortable (with the help of large amounts of morphine) but of course is hallucinating. Sort of like dreaming, but awake. His mother, my grandmother, came to see him last night and he thought she had come to take him home. It broke my heart. He looked at her, surprised, and said sadly, "But, I thought you came to take me home with you." That's the hard stuff my friends. Cuts me to the soul.

With all your kind words and encouragement I've been able to be strong for and in front of my Dad. I do my weeping and whining here and save the "tough side" for the family.

Of course I'm worried about Dad making it through the surgery. I'm worried they will open his leg up and find the cancer is more aggressive than they previously believed and .... Well, I just don't know. I try not to think ahead and only think in the "now." The doctors aren't very warm and fuzzy. Dad's "regular" Doctors are but this orthopedist is pretty detached. He's supposed to be good though and of course that's all that matters. He said yesterday, "Your Dad should be up walking by Tuesday." Ah. Okay. But, did you know he wasn't even walking before he broke his leg!?!?! Oh well. Doctors. Something about a steel rod. I just hope and pray he gets through the surgery. That his heart holds out. That his lungs hold out.

Johnny Carson died today. My dad loved him and interestingly, my dad knew him and reminded me - his personality - of Johnny Carson. My Dad also, for those who don't know, knew Phil Donahue and created his talk show. They went to college together. You've probably all at one time or another watched something my dad produced.

Okay, time to pack and "cowboy up" as Steven says. Thank you all for being here. It's so nice of you wonderful friends to leave a little piece of yourselves here. To say something when I know it's hard to know what to say. Just to be here means so much to me. I love you guys.

The photo is ten years old. Before my assault and obviously before I gained weight. It's my favorite "adult" picture of me and my Dad. My Dad's hobby was photography so I have many childhood pictures I love but this is one of my favorites of the two of us. Not just because it reminds me of being thin (although that would be nice again!) - but just the way we're looking at each other. And, my Dad looks so great in a tux, doesn't he? God, I love my Dad. So, so very much. (Could someone please remove the dagger embedded in my soul?)

Okay, I know, I know. You can't help me there but just you being here does help. It's nice to know so many care. Please think of us tomorrow and wish us luck and I'll check in hopefully on Monday night if all goes well or Tuesday if I have to stay in Santa Monica for two nights.

Friday, January 14, 2005




Monday, January 10, 2005

I'm afraid my father is not going to make it.

He's sleeping 90-95% of the time. He says he doesn't want to give up but then he has no energy to get out of bed. His knee has been bothering him and they now think it's a tumor in his knee. He will have his first treatment of radiation on Wednesday. I don't know how he's going to survive. The cancer in his chest or lungs is growing because he can't have chemo. He's far to weak and barely survived one round.

So many have thoughtfully written me asking about my Dad. Thank you so much. I love and feel and need those prayers and good thoughts you're sending. They really help. This was the letter I sent to my Step-mother tonight. If you don't mind it's a lot easier to update everyone here by just copying and pasting than to have to rewrite pretty much the same thing. Part of me wants to write "good bye" letters to my dad but another part of me feels that maybe it's too soon. But, it's easy to wait to long. Also, maybe he doesn't want "goodbye" letters. Maybe he's not "there" yet. And what do I say? How do I say it? What if I forget something? Anyway, this is the best I could do for now. I haven't talked to my Dad on the phone since New Years Day, he's been too weak for the phone so I write my step-mother hoping she relays the message:

Dear Kim,

I asked Jimmy (my brother) to please try to make an effort to call Dad and go over in the next couple of days. He promised he would.

Steven has a cold and I'm concerned but hopefully by the weekend I'll either have it or feel I "escaped." I can always wear a mask too. I'd hate to think I'm bringing any germs there.

The roads and freeways from here to there have been closed and the weather dreadful. Hopefully mid-week it's supposed to begin to clear up. I can take off work if I have to depending on your schedule or a time you think is best. If not in the next couple of days maybe I could come on the weekend. I'll call to see what time is best for you.

Of course at this point Dad might be happier where he is, at home and it might be easier for you to have him home but maybe Hospice is something we should at least look into. I'd be glad to help in anyway I can, just let me know. I can make phone calls or do anything you or Dad needs. Even if we aren't at that point now we may want to know what the options of care are between the hospital and home. You're doing a great job managing things but I'm concerned for your health and mental and emotional well-being. I need to rely on you to tell me when and if it gets to be too much for you.

Also, Steven is working from home and is always available and more than happy to do anything you need. I wished we lived a little closer to help you with day to day care and that it was easy to just stop by for 10 minutes every couple of days. But, I can take some time off work and do whatever is necessary for my dad.

I know that watching someone you love lay in a hospital bed is always hard and must, at times, be almost unbearable. I'm concerned you say he's sleeping 95% of the time and disoriented. The radiation scheduled on what they believe is a tumor his knee is scheduled for Wednesday. They will not continue chemo until he gains 30 pounds and he's a long way from that. I think he weighs just 127 and is currently eating nothing by mouth just being fed through the feeding tube. It's not enough nourishment yet he still refuses anything by mouth.

Please remind Dad everyday that I love him and I call to see how he is. Also tell him that in most ways he was the greatest Dad in the world.

Tell him that I understand everything he ever did and why. Let him know that without him my life would have been so much less than it is now. Tell him that I listen to the Nancy Wilson CD he made me a couple of weeks ago, everyday and think of him. I love it!! Tell him I have a love of that genre and era of music, because of him.

Tell him I often think of the little blue and yellow sailboat he built in the garage and on our virgin sail, tipping it over in the lake and I still laugh thinking of Mom, on the shore, sure he was going to drown us both! That I had a love of sailing my entire life because of him on saw much of the world from the water because of that little blue and yellow boat he built.

Remind him of how proud he should be for who he is and what he contributed to family, friends and strangers. Many people don't know it but my Father was the man behind Live-Aid. It put the entire thing together. He worked for ABC, W. Clement Stone as his assistant and owned a satellite company. He was a producer, director, actor, disc jockey, a singer, was an all around entertainer with a "radio voice" I think of these things all the time and I miss that voice I'll never hear again except on recordings. The recordings my Dad made in the past few years as part of his legacy.

Tell my Dad that I love him more than he'll ever know and I miss him. I wish we lived closer that I could come by and check in for 10 minutes, more often. But, because I'm not there doesn't mean I don't think of him all the time. Ask him if he wants me to bring him a milkshake next weekend and if I bring it, will he drink it?!!!!

Tell him that I miss him and I will see him soon, this weekend.

I will call you tomorrow to check in and will want to know what the doctor says on Wednesday.

I'll talk to you soon,