Well, Dad ended up in St. Marys hospital on Thursday (August 9) because he was having trouble walking, which was unusual. He'd been complaining about more back pain the last couple of weeks but we figured that was just more of his chronic back problems. However, when they did testing in the hospital they discovered cancer in his spine, as well as a mass in his lungs.
We didn't tell him of the cancer right away and yesterday (Saturday) he seemed comfortable and was even smiling and joking a bit. I think it helped that mom was able to be there for a couple stretches of time (and pain medication helps too).
Today (Sunday August 12), however, was not so good.
Beth spent most of the day with Dad. We got a call after 9:00 saying that:
- dad had been awake and agitated most of the night, and had pulled out his IV site twice
- the doctor felt there was further deterioration of his ability to move his legs, so he wanted to get him in for a radiation treatment at Grand River today
When Beth got there Dad settled some, and he was also given some sedating medication. His bladder was full but he didn't seem able to urinate so they put in a catheter.
When they went over to Grand River he was not settled enough to have the radiation. They tried more medications but even after 3 hours he would not be able to lay still for any treatment. Of course, when they got back to St. Marys he was out like a light and Beth says he'll probably sleep all evening and night now.
They have booked to try again tomorrow morning at 11:30. They will need to coordinate giving him enough drugs so that he will be basically sleeping for this.
In some ways it's difficult to know how to react to this cancer diagnosis - with Dad's memory loss and his desire to go home to heaven (which he's been expressing pretty regularly for a few years now) it's hard to see this as a tragedy. However we could have a tough road ahead of us. So far, mom is holding up pretty well. She has been driving over to the hospital but then needs help getting up to the floor as it's a long walk. She uses a wheelchair and then one of us takes her car down to our house to park it.
We appreciate your prayers and will keep you updated,