I felt that I was done with this Board, but I just wanted to report back briefly. DH has been registered for hospice, although he's still motoring in his geri chair (now a wheelchair). He is totally dependent on skilled nursing now. Hard to believe that we'll be starting his 4th year in the NH soon, and year 11 after his diagnosis with early onset AD. It's my understanding that he's not necessarily within the last 6 months of life, since it's so hard to predict with Alzheimers' patients. He is, however, showing signs of being at end stage (losing a lot of weight and on rare occasions not appearing to understand how to swallow -- liquids or food dribble back out of his mouth). He's also having seizures a little more frequently, about 1 a month now. The aides say that they think he might live another year or even two.
His facility has replaced the geri-chairs with wheelchairs since the geri-chairs were determined to be passive restraints. It has also cut back on the psychotropic drugs, as part of the Medicaid reimbursement issues.
Our oldest kid is out of grad school, and will be taking a job offer in another state. One is launched! Another is in grad school, and the youngest (who was in elementary school when he was diagnosed) is doing well in college. It breaks my heart, but they're about to have to deal with another challenge since I have been diagnosed with cancer. I have faith that it's beatable, although it's going to be another huge financial and emotional hit. I've been the strong one and their only parent for so long, that it's terrifying to think that I may not be there too.
Well, we never know what life will throw at us. I never would have imagined that my DH would be diagnosed with Alzheimers since it wasn't in either of our families. I also never would have imagined that I'd be diagnosed with cancer a few years before retirement. I'm not sure yet how this will affect my ability to support everyone, but I'll figure it out. On to the next challenge!
The following 3 users give hugs of support to: Beginning Luau (10-15-2012), mitsy (10-15-2012), ninamarc (10-15-2012)
Beginning, I am so very sorry! I have read all your posts of how you have handled your life and helmed the family while struggling with your DH's disease. You are a continuing source for inspiration, and from which I find strength in my own travels. I do hope your cancer has been diagnosed sufficiently early to allow a good prognosis. For what it's worth, I do know a little about cancer. If you have questions, or simply an outsider's opinion, please feel free to ask and I will see if I can answer.
Beginning I am so very sorry that you are having to deal with this new diagnosis. You have always handled everything which came your way with strength, courage, and determination. I just hate that you have to do it again in another area of your life. I am glad you are back... and want you to know that I keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Keep hope alive.....
Welcome back! I am sorry you came back with the cancer diagnosis! I sure hope you can still get treatments early enough. I am a cancer survivor. When I got uterus cancer in 2000, I was told I had 50% chance with the chemo. Now I am cured without any trace. However, now doctors would tell me to check for other cancers with bone density x-ray and mamogram. You have done hard work for your husband. I hope you can still cherish the time with him in hospice. He may have longer time than 6 months. He sounds like he was very sick and this reminded me about my late FIL who was very sick as well before he died and he didn't even have a chance to get into hospice yet.
Please come back and post and we are here to support you for anything!
Please take care of yourself. I am sure the kids are old enough to deal with both parents.