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,



  • My prayers are with you and your family Terri....


    By Blogger Dave, At 5:19 AM  

  • I know exactly what you are going through, our family is going through the same thing. I marvel each day at the determination that this man (my father)has to make it through another day, and yet he does not complain, does not get angry, and maintains his dignity at all times. He gets up every morning, has a cup of coffee, gets dressed, and lives another day. And yet, he can barely eat and can barely walk, he is only a shadow of the man that I used to know as my father. I know where the saying comes from when people say: "life can be so cruel", it's cruel because in life they will continue to suffer, and only in death you know their souls will rest in peace. It's just hard, and I feel for you and your family.

    By Blogger Deanna, At 7:15 PM  

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