Tonight is my last night with Mom and Dad and tomorrow morning I head back to Texas. I feel so deeply grateful for the time I have had with my family, but it's so bittersweet. It just flew by. I can't believe how fast it went. It's always hard to say goodbye, not knowing when I will be back. So hard to leave when the unknowns about Dad's cancer linger.
Here's the good news:
- He's regained energy and is starting to be up and about much more than he was
- His trach was removed and his staples were taken out of his arm Friday. The skin graft there is still quite sensitive and must remain covered most of the time.
- His healing is going well and a lot of the swelling has gone down.
- He has been laughing and cutting up with us for the past few days, which gives me hope that despite all he's been through, he isn't ready to quit!
Things you can be praying for:
- Dad still has a lot of healing to do. We've had some minor setbacks with a small infection in his forehead graft.
- He's still in pain and suffering with headaches, some severe
- The plan for his proton radiation is still in process, but would likely require that Dad relocate to Loma Linda for the treatment, which lasts six weeks. He would stay in facility care there for the duration. We need insurance to see the need for this particular type of radiation. Proton radiation targets exactly where the cancer lives and aims at it, like a gun. This would protect Dad's right eye from getting hurt during basic radiation. His doctor made it clear that we have one shot to get this right. That fills me with fear, but I keep reminding myself this is all in God's very capable hands.
- Dad is still experiencing lack of energy and home health visits come almost every other day for different purposes. This also takes a lot of energy for Dad, so I'm hoping he will continue to gain strength and tenacity each day.
If you are one of the dear friends who would like to visit Dad, please reach out to him directly from this point on. He can let you know what days are good. I would only ask that you limit your visit to 15-20 minutes, as he still tires quite easily and needs a lot of rest. "Stopping by" without calling ahead is quite hard on him and requires lots of "action" to get him up and ready. Please give him at least a day's notice that you'd like to visit.
Being here has provided me with the ability not just to help care for Dad and encourage him to push himself, but it's given us a time to reconnect and laugh, hug, sit together and talk, share meals, and just "be". I am so grateful to the two families who made all of that possible for me. Thank you deeply!
I've also had a wonderful time with Mom and two of my siblings. We spent lots of time just being together and that was very precious to me.
It's bittersweet to leave, but being here was a gift. Now I go home to my patient husband and two sweet kiddos, who have waited anxiously for Mom to come home.
Continue to remember Dad in your prayers. I'll update from time to time as I know more about the plans for Dad's cancer treatment. Thank you for being here and for caring, praying, sending love, and for all the cards you've sent. What a tremendous show of support and love!