Thursday, August 26, 2010

Silence Broken

I can't believe it's been a month since I posted. Time has been flying and I'm running to keep up. Every time I've attempted to write, I just can't find the words. There has been so much drama lately and I have not known where to start. So this will likely be just a long post about what I'm dealing with right now---You are warned.

I know I've written about my father being diagnosed with rectal cancer last September. He went through a lot of testing and finally started 5 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation around Thanksgiving. He did very well through his treatments and then had surgery at the beginning of March. For the most part, he came through that pretty well too. Then in May he started another 4 months of chemotherapy. He was feeling great and even went back to work part-time while he was finishing his treatments. Two weeks ago he returned to Ohio to visit his brother and sister like he does every year around this time. After a couple days, he started having trouble breathing and was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with congestive heart failure. His heart was only working at 15% and they had to remove fluid from inside and outside his lungs as well as around his heart. The doctors believe the chemo has damaged his heart and it's very weak. I have to agree since he had multiple tests on his heart prior to starting his first chemotherapy and again before he had surgery in March and all tests came back okay.

Last Thursday he was released from the hospital and my older brother was planning to fly down over the weekend and drive him home. I went to bed at 11:30pm Thursday night and at 12:30am my older brother called to tell me dad had a stroke and was airlifted to Ohio State University hospital. I immediately got up and started packing to leave but by 2am I had been up nearly 24 hours and A insisted I try to get some sleep before making the drive.

Friday while I was on the road, I got a call from the doctor telling me that there was nothing they could do to treat dad. His heart was only working at 10% and he was forming blood clots and had one near his heart. They couldn't give him blood thinners for the clots because of the hemorrhage in his brain. In the doctor's opinion, dad only had 2-3 days to live. My older brother was flying out in the morning and my younger brother was on the road from South Dakota. I got into Columbus early Saturday morning and the outlook was not very good.

It was a long weekend but somehow by Monday morning dad had improved and was actually joking around with the doctor when he came in during rounds. The doctor told us he was amazed to see dad still alive and apologized for his call on Friday. Monday they started treating him with blood thinners for the clots. On Tuesday they moved dad out of ICU and today they moved him to the rehab part of the hospital. He is not really in the clear though. His heart is still very weak and there's a real possibility of another clot causing a stroke or heart attack or his heart just failing completely. At this point it's still one day at a time. Tuesday I had to make the decision about when I had to leave and come home. Tuesday night I was back on the road to Minnesota. My brother left Tuesday too. Even though the reality is that I need to return to work and I can't just sit there indefinitely, I can't help but feel guilty like I'm dumping the situation on my aunt and uncle. Dad refuses to return to MN; he wants to stay in OH for rehab and make it a permanent move.  Now I'm so far away and have to handle things. This weekend  my brother and I are moving everything out of his apartment and putting it in storage. There's just a lot to figure out and I'm trying to avoid some other people's drama (mainly my mother's). Mom drama is the topic of a whole other post. It's too exhausting to think about...or write about.

So that's what's happening in my life right now. It didn't help me to be away from A for so long. We were in constant contact but I just felt lost without her. She was at home with the dogs and feeling guilty for not being with me. When she came home from work Wednesday, we just curled up and I slept the best sleep I had in days. You can't pay for therapy that works any better than that.


C.I.W. said...

oh my goodness... what a whirlwind.. I will keep your family in my thoughts. I can't imagine the feelings you are going through- being pulled all over the place.... especially when one of those places is a days drive away from your home.


vixen kitten said...

Sweetie, I'm so sorry.

You, A, and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


Ang said...

I am sorry hun. I am thinking of you and A.

aneke said...

WOW that's rough! I will keep you and yours in my prayers xx

Jen said...

Wow, Mel, I'm so sorry to hear about this. What a tough, stressful time :( I'm sending all positive thoughts your way. xo

Ms. Moon said...

Oh Mel. I'm so sorry. Damn cancer and damn, damn, damn, the treatment for it.
I'm glad you're home and QUIT FEELING GUILTY! I mean it. You're doing exactly what you're supposed to do.
Give my live to A. and keep a bunch of it for yourself.

Jude said...

Whoa Kiddo, what a heck of a time you've been having! It's very hard to handle the distance in between you and your Dad. Don't take it personally either. You're one person and can do only so much. What you've done already is volumes. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.
Remember to take time to take care of yourself.
hugs, hugs and more hugs

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear things are rough right now with your dad. I will definitely send my prayers up that he comes through this.

Thankfully you were able to find comfort in A after such a stressful situation.

kym said...

Sorry to hear about your current situation, I wish you and your family all the best during this stressful time.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I love you, and I am so sorry to hear about this. I was hoping you weren't writing because you were having some summer/camping/vacation fun.

I will keep good thoughts for you and your dad.


StarGazer said...

Mel, I'm so sorry to hear about all of this. I've had to deal with a few big heart scares with my dad too, so I know what kind of stress that can bring. I'm thinking of you and your family, and hoping for the best.

I'm so glad you have A to make you feel better! :)