Thursday, February 21, 2008

My father-in-law is dying.

I don't know what to do with this.

He was diagnosed with cancer last spring. He was experiencing back pain that, after several doctor visits, resulted in the diagnosis of liver cancer with metastasis in his lungs. He underwent chemotherapy over the summer that left him weak but, according to the doctors, in remission.

Since ending chemo he's been feeling puny. Which is pretty normal considering it was chemo and all. But over the course of the last several months, he stopped eating much. And when he did eat, he threw it up.

Last week, after 4 days of hospitalization, the doctor's told us that there's nothing more they can do for him. His liver and his kidneys are not functioning well. He's been moved back to a nursing home where he'll stay till....

When he was diagnosed, we thought he'd do well. We thought he'd go through chemo and his prospects of living a dozen more years were good. This is just a shock.

I watched my grandfather die at 65 of colon cancer. It was hideous. My other grandfather died in his sleep of a massive heart attack. One grandmother passed quickly, the other went slowly as well.

It's hard to know what to do. We took the boys to see Dad last week and that was good. We hadn't really told them that he was dying but the boys asked about it on our way out of the hospital.

#2 wondered if we could keep Grampa's ashes under our desk so that we would always have him with us. I thought this was a bit strange and couldn't figure out where he came up with that idea. Then I remembered that my Aunt and Uncle have the ashes of their dogs (Roscoe and Waveland) under their desk at home. I told him that Gramma and Grampa will decide what they will do when he passes.

#1 hasn't asked too many questions except to wonder if a kidney, liver, and lung transplant would help.

I know my boys. It takes them some time to process things and they usually process stuff internally, without much dialog. So, I know they'll be coming up with questions

We've got so many things planned for the next coupled weeks; Mr. Rix and I each have solo work trips and we have a family trip planned. We're working on playing by ear.

This isn't how we expected to usher in Spring. It's too soon.


Jennifer said...

Oh, gosh Rix, I am so sorry. How awful. And here I was feeling mopey over the general state of my life currently (money, kids arguing, etc) when you are dealing with something so much bigger. I hope that your boys handle this as well as they can and that (I'm struggling here, typing/erasing the same lame thought over again) you are all okay.

Exblick said...

Thanks Jennifer.

Katie said...

You're in my thoughts, Rix. Speak up if you need anything. You know where to find me.