My Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about a year ago. He attempted to have Whipple surgery in July of lat year, but they only closed him back up, saying the cancer had spread all ready to his stomach and abdominal wall. He went through chemo in the fall of 2009 until the treatments drove his blood pressure insanely high and he had edema so bad he could no longer pull his pants over his legs. At that time, the doctor halted the chemo and Dad's pain began to increase exponentially.
About a month and a half ago, Dad was in such excruciating pain at the hospital that the nurses worked for some 8 hours to get his pain in check. It was the most sickening thing I have ever witnessed, as Dad writhed and cried out to die.
That day, Mom and I decided it was time for hospice.
Dad has always been fiercely independent, and so this has been extraordinarily difficult for him. He insisted on taking passes from the hospice facility from the beginning. But he has begun to decline so rapidly in the last few weeks that outings are no longer possible. In the last week, the staff has continued to up his dosage of pain meds to keep up with the pain. He looks like some emaciated holocaust victim he is so thin. He eats maybe a quater of bowl of cereal each day. He has begun to speak less and less. And the meds have him sedated, but he seems angry this week.
I don't know what to expect or even how to feel. I understand this is all a process, but it is gut-wrenching to watch your proud, strong father waste away. I find myself in some awful limbo0 wishing I could grieve, that he would no longer suffer, and then feeling disgusting for even hastening one hour toward his death. I love my dad very much. This has been torturous for all of us. He is very strong, and I believe his fear of dying keeps him from letting go.
I could go on and on. But writing about it is a start.
i am so terribly sorry to hear about your dad, it is an awful situation to be in.
My dad was diagnosed on Febuary 9th 2010, with pancreatic cancer, secondary liver which has also spread to the lymph nodes.
It is late May, and he will make it to June, his Birthday is on the 27th July and that is his next mile stone, a week ago my dad got to give me away at my wedding, which is another milestone. Everything he does, like waking up feeling okay, to holding down his food, have all become milstones in his life. He is my Hero , i thought he was indestrucable, and then i got blown out of the water with this diagnosis.
He now is depressed, if anything happens that should be cherished its always a case of bitter sweet. As much as he has every ones support, he is the most lonely person right now. Other families are going through the same thing as we are, but we cant even imagine what that magnitude of loneliness feels like.
We did a fundraiser for him, not money for treatment, he was not given that privilage of a chance, the scans confirmed he was inoperable. But to give him the freedom to put his bucket list and whatever was runnug through his head how ever obsurd it was into practice, and realistically he thought what to do with the money. He went and payed for his funeral, contributed to my wedding, went on a holiday on a 40 ft boat. This is what he could do and he wanted to do and he did, another milestone.
i live 1000kms away and the first time i moved away from him. It is hard hearing every one saying, he is having a good day or a bad day, i have to keep asking what that means cause i dont get to see it, my partner gets deployed to east timor in a week for 4 months, and the chances he will make it to the end arent good, but with all this going on i have become so strong, a better mother, a better wife, because i have the privalage of showing them the strength i hope they will one day receive, and to this day as much as this horrible illness is devouring every thing sweet in life. i can thank my dad for still teaching me things that he cant even see that he is doing, i hope to be as strong as him, and as couragous as him, and as humble as him, and they are my milestones after his have stopped. love you dad. i have to see the positive in it all, he is so much bigger than this illness as much as this will end him, the cancer stops when the body stops, but every time i look in the mirror and see the resemblence, every time i look at my kids and see the same, it is going to go on and on, i will not let this cancer infest me and my thoughts and poison my love towards life. I will hold my head up strong and see you on the other side when its my time, until then, i will show life what i am made of, and show dad that his milestones were stepping stones for me,