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Choices and Control

July 22, 2012

The past week has been filled with my dad, seeing many friends during dinner dates, seeing my cousin on Monday, driving back and forth between Albany & Eugene, text messaging family, trying hard to figure out edible food for Mr Picky-Eater and not touching anything related to my art. Evenings have been recharge time and mornings I’m up and out the door running in one direction or another. Lee hasn’t been doing well with increasing weight or ability to overcome his discomfort. Part of the problem stems from his refusal to drink more fluids to remain hydrated. Another part is his lack of appetite. The final part is his ongoing anemia.  We wonder if some of his refusal is part of a control issue. He lives in a world where everyone is telling him what to do, when to eat, what to drink, what pills to take. My mother went through this same thing during the last 4 months of her life. We all bent over backwards trying to help in any way we could. He has total food & beverage choice. He wanted Borscht soup on Friday, so I made it (and it turned out quite well if I do say so myself!). Whatever he wants, we’ll do it. Keeping his basic medications going has also been a struggle. He doesn’t believe in taking pills for pain. It was hard to get pain relief into his system two years ago during the vertebrae breaks. He doesn’t refuse it all together, but he won’t take it on his own.

Nuts and bolts of the week: Thursday afternoon was spent at the oncologist. His weight was down by .5 lb (and I couldn’t extract the heavy tape measure or change out of his pocket before he stepped on the scale); White blood cells in normal range (4), Red blood cells down to 8.4 (last week it was 9.3), temp normal, blood pressure 110/48. The doctor feels the white blood cells are crowding out production of the reds and chemo needs to start again. Lee dreads starting chemo again, but  how can he get around that? I’ve started asking him flat out if this is what he wants: Do you want to continue living? Do you want to work towards getting back to living life or not? Getting back to the projects he has waiting in the workshop, taking the trip to eastern Oregon, getting back to the coast and away from Kim & I? His reply has been yes, he does want to keep on living. He has a support crew rallying around him, help with food & daily things, but he needs to start fighting for what he wants.Where is our Captain Dart (a nick name he had at home and probably work 20 years ago)? He’s verbalized his choice so now he has to work towards the goal.  I think it’s high time to pull out the “brown rat dropping” pills (aka medical marijuana)  to help increase the desire for food. I just hope they actually have some effect.

Since the chemo med Velcaid wasn’t in stock at the oncologist, treatment has been delayed until Tuesday. They will also administer a dose of Zometta for bone health.  I suspect it will all be delayed  due to need for a blood transfusion before Wednesday.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Tracie permalink
    July 22, 2012 6:08 pm

    Hang in there Gale. If you want to add a coffee date to your decompressing routine by all means please call me!

    • paperstew permalink*
      July 22, 2012 8:04 pm

      I’ll keep ya in mind! Finished planting the garden today and hope it will help ease my brain daily too!

      • Ron & Marilyn Maines permalink
        July 23, 2012 1:13 pm

        Glad you and Mary ‘connected’. I talked to her Sunday and she was so happy relaxing in Yachats. I told her I wanted to be there with her an Dinah to enjoy the salt sea air. I’ve been searching the web for places north of Gold Beach. I want a place at the beach even if it’s only a lot with ‘hook-ups’ for my 13 ft. travel trailer. I breathe better there. Ron’s a “desert rat” and cringes at the thought of “grey, wet, dreary” weather. So, pups and I do the beach while Ron stays home. Life is worth living as long as you have control. It doesn’t have to be 100% control, just enough to make you feel worthy. Love, M, R, K, & H

      • paperstew permalink*
        July 23, 2012 6:45 pm

        Gold Beach is great Marilyn. I have a girlfriend who’s parents spend the summer there and winter back in AZ. With all that time in Alaska, I’m amazed Ron has such a hate of grey weather… but maybe that’s what changed it! 🙂

  2. July 23, 2012 1:08 pm

    It’s so difficult to know how to help when an elder becomes so ill. It’s good though that your Dad has made a choice.

    • paperstew permalink*
      July 23, 2012 6:43 pm

      Well, I pissed him off today by getting the ball rolling for another blood transfusion. He’s at the hospital right now working on bag#1. After bag #2, he might be out of there around 1am! In his book, my name is MUD! But I can deal with that if it gets him fighting again. 🙂

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