My Dad is not doing well.
He has Alzheimer's and will be 93 this coming November. He has been losing weight rapidly since the beginning of the year. He weighs 116 pounds as of last Sunday. He has a huge skin cancer growth on his left pinkie toe the size of a child's football which we suspect is why is WBC is rising. His right eye is closed due to skin cancer, he has a fifty-cent sized melanoma on his left temple and another skin cancer on his upper lip.
He has poor circulation in his legs so the antibiotics don't help much...he has heart trouble, thyroid issues, rheumatoid arthritis in his hands and joints...and the list goes on. He is under Hospice care due to "failure to thrive".
He has been less and less responsive on our family visits as if he is too tired to be excited. He has always had a excellent, voracious appetite, but even that has been waining. He speaks so softly it is difficult to hear him. I think he is ready and preparing to go...
My brother from Ohio flew into California last Monday. I was suppose to leave Nevada Tuesday, then today, but needed more time to get myself emotionally prepared. I will leave early tomorrow morning...my four brothers, sister, Mom and I will all gather around Dad on Father's Day. Afterwards, we'll go over to my sister Holly's for food and reflection.
My brother has been visiting with Dad every day this week, reading the Bible to Dad, who seems to be soaking it all up and receiving comfort.
Dad has been in the nursing home four years the 22nd of this month. My husband's Mother also had Alzheimer's and after her husband died at 90, she died at 93, four years and five days after him. She had no health issues, it was all the Alzheimer's.
My suitcase is packed and my dog Izzy knows "something is up". She will be staying home with my husband. I plan on coming home next Monday, the 17th.
No matter how much I prepare...I cannot settle into the thought of losing Dad, despite feeling like I lost him several years ago when he was claimed by this insidious disease...it still doesn't make it any easier. I know he will leave us. I know I will feel relief knowing none of his medical issues will get the opportunity to get worse...He never complains of pain, but how can we be sure he isn't in pain and just unable to express it?
I'm so thankful we had him for so long. I have enjoyed him for 66 years and feel very blessed to have had him for my Father. I feel no regrets. Dad and I have always had a very close, bonded relationship. I am his firstborn and am named after Dad and his Mother. I believe the heavenly chariot will come for him and take him up to heaven where he will be reunited with our other family members, family friends and family pets. I am at peace with it and have put Dad in the hands of our Lord.
It is the circle of life and we all take our turn....We have come close to thinking Dad would leave this last year...putting him with Hospice last August; but he surprised us and bounced back with new energy. This time is very different. We all see him slowing way down. He seems so very tired. The weight loss and lack of appetite sure indicate a big downturn...May God comfort you Dad and allow your exit to be a peaceful one...I love you.