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Author Topic: [feelings] Cancer, death and Dad (long)  (Read 2816 times)
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lildrgn
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« on: September 08, 2008, 02:28:55 AM »

My dad has cancer of the colon. It's been about 1.5 years now. It's his second go-round with cancer. The first was lymphoma cancer (non-Hodgkin's variety) and he got past that with chemo.

This time around, he's not so keen on trying traditional treatments. Instead, he's been talking to his Si Fu (spiritual master) as well as pursuing alternative means.

Over the past month or so, he's gotten worse. He and my mom traveled to Houston, TX recently, where they own a second home. I'm told that while Dad was at a casino, he, in his words, "almost died". Even with those words, he played it down. However, my uncle, who was with him at the time, mentioned to my brother and I that it might be a good idea for one of us to head to TX.

About 2 weeks ago, my bro flew to TX and spent 4 days there with my parents. He said Dad was doing better, but weak, and short of breath. He couldn't talk without pausing between words/sentences to catch his breath. He's refused to go to the doctor or seek any help besides what he can do on his own (eat well, rest, etc). It was bad enough that Dad sent my uncle to China to pick up some herbal medicine. Uncle Bob did the TX to China, back to TX round trip in 3 days. Pretty damn incredible, if you ask me. So, with this new medicine (placebo, anyone?), Dad was optimistic. He seemed to be doing better, even after one day on the meds, and my brother had to come back home, so he left my folks in TX. They were scheduled to come back a few days later anyway, so we thought things were improving.

A few days later I hear through the grapevine that Dad is doing worse. My bro and I determine this time that I will fly back to TX just to get on a plane with them the following day to bring them home. Kind of a security blanket, if you will. My mom is very soft-spoken and not so confident in her English skills and we worried what she would do if my dad was unable to speak or something worse.

Anyway, TX was fairly uneventful for me. It was great to see M&D's house, as well as my uncle and where they go to meditate. We flew home the next day and everything was fine.

Which, finally, brings me to my point.

I'm pretty sure my dad is dying. We're not sure if the cancer has spread to his lungs (hence the shortness of breath?) or what, but it's pretty clear he's not getting any better. Dad's Si Fu gave me directions on what my dad could and couldn't do (no meat, control temper, rest, etc). Dad has medicine that we went and picked up today, from an apothecary in Chinatown (dried seahorses FTW!). He still refuses to seek "regular" treatment. We would all love it if he'd go get an MRI so we can see what the heck is wrong with him.

He says he will live, that he's almost a Buddha, that he's wise. We think he's in denial. I have two trains of thought on this.

  • Respect his wishes. We let Dad live as he wants, meaning we're not badgering him to get checked, etc. We let him pursue what he wants for treatment and respect that. Simple enough, right? The trouble is, he's going downhill. We don't think he's in pain (he hasn't let on if he is or not), and if he is, well that would make it that much tougher. But, if we let him go as he wants, we're not constantly nagging him about something he wants nothing do to with. He's happier, we're not so happy, but I suppose we're supporting his wishes.
  • Nag him until he complies. My brothers and I, our wives, our other family members, we all want him to get checked out. We want him to be able to do something that is proven to work. We want something more concrete (even though it's never 100%) than what he's doing. At least if we know, we can plan accordingly, right? In addition, I've been on his case about updating his will, something he hasn't done for probably 20+ years. If/when he goes, we need to know that Mom will not be saddled with trying to figure all that stuff out.

Part of me is ready to follow #1. The way Dad's attitude is, it's not so much that he's resigned to death or living sick forever (at least not publicly), it's that he simply doesn't want anything to do with Western medicine. It's almost like he's cutting off his nose to spite his face. Try as we might, he's not willing to budge.

Part of me wants to follow #2. FFS, he's 67 and, if he was healthy, he could live at least another 20 years or so. With treatment of his cancer it may not be that long, but let's hypothetically say he gets 5-10 more years. Wouldn't that be worth it?

Now, playing Devil's Advocate for a sec. Let's say he does do chemo/radiation/surgery, who's to say he's not in constant care for issues related? It's pretty clear that a lot of people still suffer despite undergoing treatment. So, would we be prolonging his suffering for another hypothetical 5-10 years?

And I feel selfish, too, wanting him to stick around. I mean, who doesn't want a loved one to be around as long as they can? But, if he's suffering and he wants to be let alone? What then? How the heck am I supposed to feel?

Today I told Dad that we (the bros and fams) would be willing to let him be, provided he got his legal affairs (will) in order. I asked him what he wanted us to do exactly. He said for us to help him when he needed help (re: driving around, running errands, etc). I told him we could do that; we have been already.

I just don't know what else we can do. I know there's people out there that would say, "Are you freakin' crazy? He's your dad! You take his ass into the hospital and get him checked. His life is at stake!" I get that. Like an intervention. But who is that serving? Him or me? Or am I being a puss for not manning up and just doing it anyway?

I'm just here to vent. I'm not emotional (re: crybaby) yet, but it'll come eventually, I think. I guess I'm just looking for some insight from those of you who may have lost a loved one too soon.

Thanks for listening.
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Crux
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2008, 02:42:37 AM »

I'm not 100% clear on the timetable of events here, but the short of it is this: depending on the type of cancer he has, there is a good chance it is already too late for #2. I would maybe get everyone together and ask him to go to the hospital and get tests done just for everyone's peace of mind if anything. Maybe you're in luck and it isn't too late and he might change his mind regarding treatment. At the end of the day though it is his life and his decision. I think you need to be respectful no matter what because, heaven forbid if he really is dying you want him to go out on his terms at peace with himself and his family, but living with constant struggle and argument over his medical treatment.
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2008, 02:44:59 AM »

Not much in the way of advice here other than to say I'm really sorry to hear about your dad.

My dad died of lung cancer when he was 63 and I was 24.  It was 16 months of sadness and sleepless nights.

My mother-in-law (an amazing woman) died in 2002 of uterine cancer.

I just really hate cancer.  And, for what it's worth, I'll be praying for your dad and your family.
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Jeff
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2008, 02:46:10 AM »

Quote from: lildrgn on September 08, 2008, 02:28:55 AM


I'm just here to vent. I'm not emotional (re: crybaby) yet, but it'll come eventually, I think. I guess I'm just looking for some insight from those of you who may have lost a loved one too soon.

Thanks for listening.

Whatever your dad's decision, know that at least you have now. That's very fortunate. My dad died when I was 29, and he was 49. Except my dad was (seemingly) perfectly healthy one day - and friggin' gone the next. It was a brain aneurysm, and it was as sudden as a car accident. I did not get to tell my dad goodbye.

Cancer is a tough, brutal situation for the whole family. I can understand your father's desire to seek for some kind of spiritual help, but unfortunately I don't see it as much different than fundamentalists trying to pray their sick kid back to health rather than get the child proper medical attention. The thing is here, your father is an adult and can make his own decisions. He should be in control of those decisions, IMO, as long as he is of sound mind.

I'm really sorry for your tough situation, lildrgn. This life can deal us some terribly bitter pain at times, and I don't envy you.

My suggestion is to let your dad work through it, but spend time with him and be supportive. Enjoy the memories you make.

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BEEFHAMMA
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2008, 02:52:05 AM »

I feel for you man, I really do. I'm a newbie here on this site, and I didn't expect such deep conversation. Within the past two years I have witnessed the deaths of my wife's grandparents. And while that is in no way the same as losing a parent, she was extremely close with her gp's. Her grandmother had Alzheimer's and for the 5 years or so prior to her passing (which was two years ago now) she was incoherent most, if not all the time. Witnessing that just on a bi-yearly basis was difficult. I can't imagine the toll that took on her husband, my wife's grandfather, who passed earlier this year. I've never experienced what you're going through, but I guess I would say be thankful that your father still recognizes you, your brother, and your mom, and enjoy all the time you're able to spend with him.
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lildrgn
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2008, 03:41:31 AM »

Thanks, guys, for the posts.

It has been prickly for us the past few days, but you guys pretty much confirm how I've been feeling. And though it pains me to see him so uncomfortable and weak, it's now made the small things seem that much more important. Something like bringing the kids over (their grandkids, of course) to see their grandpa and give gentle hugs. They know something's up, but they still hug and love nonetheless.

I think that may be what bugs me most. Not so much loss for me and my bros (though that IS huge), but the loss for my kids and their cousins (who are in Ireland now frown ) and their relationships with him.

All I know is we'll be spending lots of time with him in the foreseeable future.

Quote from: Crux on September 08, 2008, 02:42:37 AM

I'm not 100% clear on the timetable of events here, but the short of it is this: depending on the type of cancer he has, there is a good chance it is already too late for #2. I would maybe get everyone together and ask him to go to the hospital and get tests done just for everyone's peace of mind if anything. Maybe you're in luck and it isn't too late and he might change his mind regarding treatment. At the end of the day though it is his life and his decision. I think you need to be respectful no matter what because, heaven forbid if he really is dying you want him to go out on his terms at peace with himself and his family, but living with constant struggle and argument over his medical treatment.

As far as #2, you're probably right, IMO. Even if he agreed to go to the DR tomorrow for tests and treatment, I'm not sure it would help. What bugs me is that we don't even get to try. So I keep thinking of option 1, and that keeps me going, I suppose.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 03:44:52 AM by lildrgn » Logged

Moliere
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2008, 03:52:11 AM »

Quote from: lildrgn on September 08, 2008, 03:41:31 AM

So I keep thinking of option 1, and that keeps me going, I suppose.

Yep. When my mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer she delayed medical treatment and went with eating grapes, meditation and other CAM bullshit approaches. I nagged her a bit at first, but ultimately I had to respect her decisions and how she chose to approach treatment. Fortunately she finally went with the surgery, chemo and radiation before it was too late.
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2008, 03:55:22 AM »

One thing that you might be able to do with his buy-in is to chronicle his life while he's still here to help pass on who he was and what he did.  If he's up for the task, spend some time to record on video/audio/text some of the things in his life that shaped who he was, that he would want others to know.  My sister did an audio interview with my grandmother several years back and my parents brought it out to listen to after she passed.  It really helped me to get to know her as a person better instead of just being G'ma.  Ask the questions that you've always wanted to know the answers to.  Tell him everything that you've wanted to say.  Others are sure to have the same feelings about the situation.  One of the things that I would have loved to know is more about my grandfathers' lives.  My Dad's father was in the Navy, but died when he was only 2 years old.  So not only will I never know that much about who my grandfather was, but neither did my father.  

You can make this some of the best times that you have spent with him and also help others learn things they never would have known and help preserve a piece of him for those that knew him and the generations that will wish they knew him better.
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2008, 07:23:51 AM »

One thing you can try to do is to talk with this spiritual master guy that your father seem to trust and respect. Ask him to help you convince your father to go to hospital. If he is not one of the nut job that totally against western medicine, there is a good chance that he'll help you.

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Turtle
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2008, 08:44:27 AM »

Herbs simply put, do not work in these situations, or in most cases.

I would first look into this sifu and see if he's got some sort of angle that nets him profit.  Not all quacks have one, but either way, damage is being done.  After that

One thing to realize is, had your father's Sifu not told him to ignore earlier cancer treatments, he could undergo a much shorter, and less painful treatments.  Sure, that might be only 5-10 more years, but you have to realize that in those 5-10 years he could still be healthy and pass from other less cruel ways to die.  Simply put, I think that sifu robbed your father of 5-10 more potentially healthy final years.

If there is still nothing to be done after seeing an MD, a scientific doctor can still do things for your father that will ease the pain of what's to come.

It's a tough time for you, my grandmother is on her deathbed right now and will literally go at any minute.  But, it must be so agonizing that someone else' beliefs influencing your father

Now here's where I refer you to the skeptical community that I participate in.  In particular, I would point you to the site Skeptoid.com.  It's not a community of closed minded skeptics, but rather skeptics in the truer sense of people who evaluate things through evidence and the scientific method.  It's a pretty friendly community that can often answer questions and offer suggestions in these kind of situations.

For example, there was a recent podcast that covered how to talk to others about skeptical topics, from this, let me offer you this advice:

First, don't nag him.  Nagging him, in his mind, will turn you into the closed minded non-enlightened enemy to his beliefs.  If he's ignored such serious health problems and is in denial, it's better to approach from a more positive angle.

One way you can start broaching on the subject of seeing a scientific doctor is not to confront him directly about how such and such mysticism is wrong and is killing him.  Instead, start by finding out what other supernatural stuff that both of you think are bogus, and find the reasons why.  It's likely his reasons are the same as yours, and from there you can help put his own thinking mind and his own innate skepticism towards getting himself healthy.  Was there any particular nasty scam from your father's time that he avoided or was affected by?  Common myths of the time he thought was bogus?  Current scams and myths that both of you think are bogus?  Big foot?  Palm readers?  Christian faith healers?

You can also look into the teachings of bhudda to find some leverage.  Not only does it show that you're willing to study into his beliefs, you might also find some passages that mention not neglecting the body.

Skeptoid also produced a short movie that explains basic critical thinking and skepticism that might offer a different way to thinking that could convince your father or others in your family to support him at least seeing a scientific medical doctor: http://herebedragonsmovie.com/

Also, in this case, I'd actually recommend you seek some kind of action against such a person that would tell people to ignore cancer.  That is just plain wrong.  This isn't just an issue of personal beliefs, it's real negligence.  If you don't want to go the legal route, you can still call the news, or post your story online to let others know about these dangers.  One such site that catalogs these situations where pseudoscience and mysticism has hurt or killed people is: http://www.whatstheharm.net/

In the end though, it may be that it's way too late.  If the medical doctors say it's too late, it may be time let go and let him pass.  But, you won't know if he doesn't see a doctor.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 08:55:55 AM by Turtle » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2008, 10:48:02 AM »

Quote from: lildrgn on September 08, 2008, 02:28:55 AM

My dad has cancer of the colon. It's been about 1.5 years now. It's his second go-round with cancer. The first was lymphoma cancer (non-Hodgkin's variety) and he got past that with chemo.

This time around, he's not so keen on trying traditional treatments.

Chemo is rough. Puts the body and mind through trials I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Having gone the chemo route before, perhaps he knows he can't take going that route again? Perhaps he flat-out doesn't want to.

My grandmother is currently dying. Not from something treatable, but from the sheer lack of desire to live. She broke her hip a couple months ago and has been in and out of hospitals/rehab since, having not once stepped foot back in her own room at the assisted living community she's lived in the last 3 years. She doesn't eat. She doesn't participate in rehab. She doesn't have the strength or desire to fight for life. A cruel family would use medical power of attorney (which my mother has) to force a feeding tube placed in her stomach and prolong her existence until she "snaps out of it" or is forced to get better. This never works, and we are not a cruel family. We recently transferred her to a hospice facility where we expect her to pass any day now.

I can't tell you whether your father's cancer has spread to the lungs. Not without an MRI or some other imaging. However, ask yourself this - "Who would knowing help?" Some people don't want to know how bad it is and/or that they have "3 months to live." Knowing that data racks at them daily, making them feel defeated and hopeless until the day of their inevitable passing. They'd rather go out when they go out. Others want to know so they can plan and prepare. Neither is right. Neither is wrong. But one of them is right for your dad, whether it's right for the rest of the family or not. Go with that one.
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2008, 02:25:16 PM »

I can't add any practical advice to what's already been given, but I'd like to express my sympathy. You are wise to acknowledge that this is your father's decision to make, not yours, and that all you can do is to advise and support.
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2008, 03:16:25 PM »

That's some rough shit to be dealing with, man.  I know my own father went through the same thing with his father, who had cancer and was trying the most traditional remedy ever - prayer - to fix it.  Obviously this did not work.  I've sat here for a few minutes thinking about what I would do in your shoes, and I just don't know...  Perhaps the entire family should, together, state your wish that he seek modern treatment in respectful but strong/firm terms... if at that point he refuses, I don't know that there is anything you can do.

Sorry. frown
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2008, 03:19:54 PM »

Quote from: kratz on September 08, 2008, 03:16:25 PM

That's some rough shit to be dealing with, man.  I know my own father went through the same thing with his father, who had cancer and was trying the most traditional remedy ever - prayer - to fix it.  Obviously this did not work.  I've sat here for a few minutes thinking about what I would do in your shoes, and I just don't know...  Perhaps the entire family should, together, state your wish that he seek modern treatment in respectful but strong/firm terms... if at that point he refuses, I don't know that there is anything you can do.

Sorry. frown

I agree with everything kratz said.  It would not be right to try to force him to accept the treatment he doesn't want.  I'm sorry that you and your family have been put in that position.
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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2008, 06:35:57 PM »

Hey guys, thanks again for the support. It really means a lot.

Quote from: Turtle on September 08, 2008, 08:44:27 AM

I would first look into this sifu and see if he's got some sort of angle that nets him profit.  Not all quacks have one, but either way, damage is being done.

He doesn't. Where Dad got his medicine is completely separate from what the sifu does. 

Quote
One thing to realize is, had your father's Sifu not told him to ignore earlier cancer treatments, he could undergo a much shorter, and less painful treatments.  Sure, that might be only 5-10 more years, but you have to realize that in those 5-10 years he could still be healthy and pass from other less cruel ways to die.  Simply put, I think that sifu robbed your father of 5-10 more potentially healthy final years.

As far as I know, the sifu wants Dad to seek treatment, alternative or otherwise. I don't think he ever said to ignore any cancer treatments. My dad is very stubborn and he's the one deciding to do what he's doing.

Quote
It's a tough time for you, my grandmother is on her deathbed right now and will literally go at any minute.

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother, Turtle. 

Quote
Was there any particular nasty scam from your father's time that he avoided or was affected by?  Common myths of the time he thought was bogus?  Current scams and myths that both of you think are bogus?  Big foot?  Palm readers?  Christian faith healers?

There were no scams or anything, but he did have friends who went through cancer and had surgeries, only to die shortly thereafter. I think it's fear of not being in control rather than scams and/or myths. Even though he is not in control, he is in control by choosing what he's choosing. Does that make sense?

Quote
In the end though, it may be that it's way too late.  If the medical doctors say it's too late, it may be time let go and let him pass.  But, you won't know if he doesn't see a doctor.

That's what bugs me. He says seeing a Dr. won't help. How does he know if he doesn't go? Then again, at the same time, if the Dr. simply says, well, it's too late and you have 6 months to live? To me, there's too much finality there. Not knowing leaves it a little gray, I suppose. Ignorance is bliss, right? tear
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2008, 06:20:01 AM »

Hang in there lildrgn and you too turtle.  Lildrgn, you are in a tough situation - and the only thing I can offer is to take a look at it from his view point.  It might be that he wants to be fully cognizant of everything around him.  He wants to be able to be completely "there" for you, your brother and your mom.  I think in his mind, he is doing what is right - he really doesn't see if from your viewpoint.  Someone in his situation will be focussed on what he/she thinks is the right path for themselves.  Be supportive, offer discussion (not advice or telling him what he should/shouldn't do) and just love 'em.  Remember that he's not abandoning you - he's really trying his best to be there for all of you, in a way that he knows how to.  My thoughts, hopes (and prayers) are with you and your family.
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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2008, 10:55:16 AM »

Quote from: lildrgn on September 08, 2008, 02:28:55 AM

My dad has cancer of the colon. It's been about 1.5 years now. It's his second go-round with cancer. The first was lymphoma cancer (non-Hodgkin's variety) and he got past that with chemo.

This time around, he's not so keen on trying traditional treatments. Instead, he's been talking to his Si Fu (spiritual master) as well as pursuing alternative means.

I'm an ICU nurse and that part makes me feel for him.  People rarely think about how thoroughly unpleasant most of our treatments are.  We can put people through absolute hell for only marginal gains in time and quality of life.  It sounds like he's experienced some of the worst we can offer and just doesn't want to go through with that again.

He is young though... at least by my standards.  He also sounds like he's neck-deep in denial.  I wouldn't mind seeing someone firmly grounded in reality turning down treatment, but it always kind of irks me to deal with people who refuse to even acknowledge what is really going on.  Perhaps you could get him to talk to some health care folks in a social, non-threatening situation.  If his breathing is as bad as you say, it's a decent lead to start up a conversation along non-threatening lines and then push a bit to see how it goes.

EDIT: Hmm... I'll edit out my last point.  Hospice care is probably a no go for someone who thinks they're going to make it.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 11:09:53 AM by Marik » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2008, 08:18:36 PM »

Quote from: Zero on September 09, 2008, 06:20:01 AM

Hang in there lildrgn and you too turtle.  Lildrgn, you are in a tough situation - and the only thing I can offer is to take a look at it from his view point.  It might be that he wants to be fully cognizant of everything around him.  He wants to be able to be completely "there" for you, your brother and your mom.  I think in his mind, he is doing what is right - he really doesn't see if from your viewpoint.  Someone in his situation will be focussed on what he/she thinks is the right path for themselves.  Be supportive, offer discussion (not advice or telling him what he should/shouldn't do) and just love 'em.  Remember that he's not abandoning you - he's really trying his best to be there for all of you, in a way that he knows how to.  My thoughts, hopes (and prayers) are with you and your family.

Well said.  I thought I'd already answered this post (must've been 3 AM or something when I first read it and then lost my mind.) I apologize for taking so long to respond.

I just saw a friend who I hadn't seen in a while, and he looks very old and extremely thin and frail.  Turns out he has an inoperable stomach tumor.  It's too big and too intertwined with abdominal organs, so he has one choice, live with it and do the best he can.  I've dealt with a lot of illness, both my own and my family and friends, but having choices as to how to proceed has got to be the absolute worst situation of the bunch, IMO.  I feel for you and hope that whatever you decide ends up as being the best of the bad choices, for all involved.

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Giles Habibula
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« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2008, 01:40:52 AM »

Lost my dad (age 70 and previously exceedingly healthy and fit) 3 years ago to brain tumors. It was a total shock. It took only 7 months for him to die. But during that time, my sister and uncle brought video cameras, and did a series of interviews with him during that entire time. I still can't watch them without choking up. The early videos were the best. He looked and talked normally. He knew he was dying, but still felt good. Lots of laughter and stories from him during the first videos.

By the time the last videos were made (a month before he died), he was all puffed up from medication, had lost all his hair from chemo (and thus took to constantly wearing a ridiculous knitted cap that reminded me of the cap Jayne wore in one of the Firefly episodes), and had to pause long and frequently to forn his thoughts. God, those last videos are heartbreaking. And the knitted cap I once thought was ridiculous, I now think of as a sacred statement of a part of who he was. I love watching him in that cap on those videos now.

Regardless, I do recommend doing some video interviews if he'll allow it.
A lot of the stories Dad told were stories I'd never heard before, and I learned a lot about parts of his life I'd never paid much attention to before. Real treasures.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 01:44:46 AM by Giles Habibula » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2008, 02:26:53 AM »

I don't have any advice, but I wish you and your family the best.
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lildrgn
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« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2008, 04:06:14 AM »

Hi ya'll. Thanks again for the comments. They are helpful and insightful.

With regards to the video thing. I like the idea, but Dad is so far gone now that it's hard for him to carry on any sort of conversation. Well, I take that back. That sounds worse than he is. Part of it is that he needs to rest and not speak too much. The other part is the Chinese in him. As egotistical as he can be, I simply can't see him baring his soul to a camera for future generations to view.

(Though, now's not the time to worry about that kind of stuff, I guess. I'll ask him and see if he'd be willing to share. I'll set up a tripod and all he'd have to do is press REC.)

It's kind of a shame, that. My brother and his family are stationed in Ireland now for Microsoft. They are torn as to how serious things are and if/when they should come back. I definitely think they should come back, but if/when they do, I'm pretty sure, barring a miracle, it'll be the last time they see Dad alive. If Dad was willing to record some videos, etc, it may help down the road after he's gone.

I saw Dad today and though he's not worse (I don't think), he doesn't seem any better. I blogged about it:

Quote
I was bringing Dad his new laptop this morning. I went in the house and the first thing I saw was the absorbent pad on the couch. With his colon cancer, let's just say he's been prone to going to the bathroom a lot.

(There's really no pulling punches here, I suppose. When your body starts giving up, these things happen, right?)

Anyway, it was sad seeing those pads on the couch and chairs. I guess it keeps things easier to clean, but, needless to say, that's a bummer.

As I was setting up Dad's computer, he was in a chair and I was kneeling next to him with my head right about at his stomach level. It sounded like the 4th of July in there. Gurgling, bubbling, and sproinging sounds. Sounded miserable.

He also said he had a hard time hearing me. I may have been mumbling a little, but it was weird that he couldn't hear so well.

If he didn't have the frickin' cancer, it might be comical, like he's becoming an old man... but he does, and it's sad.

Mom appears to be in good spirits, considering. She's been a brave little trouper through all this. We try to keep her feelings in mind during all this, but I can't help but wonder what's going through her head.

At lunch, I was telling Marci about my visit and the kids were asking if Tai Yeh (what they call Dad) was still sick.

I told them yes.

They asked if he was going to get better.

I said that we hope so, but there's a chance he won't. That if he doesn't, his body will break down and he won't be around anymore.

Marci asked if they knew what that meant.

Haley said, yes, it means Tai Yeh will die.

It's sad. Though Haley gets it, I don't know if she knows death means forever. I wonder what she thinks.
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Ironrod
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« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2008, 04:44:41 AM »

No matter how much you see it coming, you can never quite be ready for the death of a parent. You just have to take developments as they come. I know how details can sting. When I saw my dad on a respirator in the ICU, before we quite knew that he was dying, a little trickle of blood seeped from the corner of his mouth. I freaked. The nurse quickly dabbed it away and explained that a ventilator tube irritates the esophagus, but that matter-of-fact explanation could not diminish the simple shock of seeing him like that.

Be strong. Give him your love and support. Hope for the best, steel yourself for the worst. There is nothing else that you can do.
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cheeba
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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2008, 02:30:52 PM »

Quote from: Marik on September 09, 2008, 10:55:16 AM

EDIT: Hmm... I'll edit out my last point.  Hospice care is probably a no go for someone who thinks they're going to make it.
I'll pick up on that point even though you edited it out. Was thinking of posting about it before, but didn't because I also figured it'd be a no go. However, the benefits are so great that it's worth talking about.

I'm sorry you have to go through this, lildrgn. I know a bit about what you're going through, as my father died from cancer last October. Then, this past February a family friend, who was essentially my grandmother, also died of cancer. For my father, it was 6 weeks from diagnosis until death, so he wasn't able to get any treatments. The family friend was 94 years old and refused any treatments (it was very unlikely they would have helped, anyways).

Having seen both of them go through this experience, I must say that you absolutely should look into Hospice care. It is amazing the care they provide. You can have them come to the home once or twice a week or whatever. But it's worth it. Not only is it worth it to manage the pain and care of your father, but as it gets closer to his time, it gets more and more draining on the family. The daughter of my family friend wouldn't have gotten through it if it hadn't been for Hospice. At least look into it.

Again, I'm sorry you're going through this and I wish you the best.
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« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2008, 01:06:01 AM »

I'm sorry you have to go through this now. I lost my step-mother to cancer back in January. It was a rough time. I will echo cheeba's comments and say that Hospice is amazing and well worth looking in to. Even if it doesn't work right now, the information could be useful later. When we put my step-mother on hospice it was amazing. They sent someone to the house every day to give her a bath and check up on her. The nurses really care about their patients. Both nurses who stopped at our place ended up leaving in tears at some point. I highly recommend looking in to some of the Hospices around your area.
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lildrgn
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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2008, 01:41:49 PM »

Hi guys,

Thanks so much for the support and suggestions. I'm sorry to say that it doesn't matter anymore as Dad passed on last night about 10:45pm or so. Thought his suffering was long, his passing was quick. I came home for a few hours of sleep and am headed back to the hospital shortly.

Thanks again. It means the world.

More later.

Gwon
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Jeff
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« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2008, 02:00:35 PM »

My very sincere condolences, Gwon.  Take care.
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« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2008, 02:20:54 PM »

My condolences to you and your family.
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cheeba
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« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2008, 02:25:52 PM »

Sorry for your loss.
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rickfc
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« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2008, 02:37:25 PM »

My sincerest condolences.
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« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2008, 02:45:11 PM »

Oh man... just reading the new posts in the thread and that shocked me.

I'm so sorry.  You and your family will be in my thoughts. frown
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« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2008, 02:50:45 PM »


Our thoughts are with you Gwon.

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« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2008, 03:15:14 PM »

Sorry to hear about it. At least he went on his own terms, and did not linger too long.
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mytocles
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« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2008, 04:27:30 PM »

Aww, man, so sorry to hear the news.  Not much I can say that hasn't been said... just sincere condolences and my thoughts, too, are with you and your family.  tear
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Eightball
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« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2008, 07:49:25 PM »

I'm terribly sad to hear it, lildrgn.  I'm going to hug my kids tonight extra hard, and then give my dad a big hug when I see him next.
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« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2008, 08:00:38 PM »

Sincerest condolences.   icon_frown
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« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2008, 08:06:57 PM »

My condolences.  icon_frown
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msteelers
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« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2008, 08:09:06 PM »

I'm sorry for your loss.  icon_cry
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lildrgn
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« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2008, 09:24:32 PM »

Thanks guys. I'll update when I get a moment. I'm doing ok, it's the other family members that are out of it.

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« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2008, 09:30:39 PM »

 icon_biggrin   Awesome picture lildrgn.

I'm sorry for your loss, stay strong and keep doing everything you've been doing for your family.
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« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2008, 01:44:34 AM »

I'm sorry to hear of your father's passing. My thoughts and condolences to you and yours.
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