Friday, April 1, 2011

Family first...

I'm doing my best to make lemonade (as my blog title would imply), but honestly, I'm having a hard time finding the sugar.

As I think most of you know, I have become my dad's primary daytime caregiver in his greatest time of need.  For those of you who don't know, my dad is in now what would appear (and so I've been told by medical professionals) the end stage of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (no, he was not a smoker-in fact, he abhors smoke). This is a battle that he started 3 years ago this July (at Stage 4 I might add and originally given 6 months to live).  He's been as he always has, strong, stubborn, courageous and vertical up until this past February when disaster struck in the form of an intestinal blockage that landed him at the James Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio.  During his stay he was relegated to a clear liquid diet, not that he was interested in any food really anyway, and ended up losing lots of muscle but gained lots of water (not good).  I frequented the hospital (almost daily and all day) to keep him company, check his progress and love on my Papa.  After 8 days, he finally was "cleared" and I was allowed to bring him home, but things had changed.  Oxygen was a full time must; something that a stubborn and, still in HIS head, healthy man could do without.  But boy was he wrong.  Quickly we realized that this was not an illness that Dad seemed to be recovering from.  Although he had cleared the blockage, he was definitely down for the count.  Simple tasks became extremely trying and tiring.  The little things that so often we all take for granted being able to do for ourselves had become a 2 person job.

In a way, I relish the fact that my dad bragged and bragged that I give the best showers in the world-thank you Lindley Inn and having a child ;)  But in another, knowing that my dad, my rock was counting on me for something so simple (so many things in fact) was devastating.  Watching him in so much discomfort, pain and feeling so feeble wasn't for the weak at heart.

And now it's April.  Almost 2 full months since I've been taking care of Dad full time.  So, with that little (very quick) background on what's been going on, let me get to the meat of this earthly injustice I feel caught smack dab in the middle of: My dad is apparently going to die.  Now please understand that I am coming to terms with what is an obvious fact to those of us who speak with Dad's medical professionals and are with him daily.  He is still currently on a chemo regimen.  His last treatment was this past Tuesday and when he got back home it was straight to bed for 3 days.  I've never in my life seen anything so incredibly heartwrenching.  It's all I can think about.  It's all I do think about.  And there's nothing I, or anyone else, can do. 

I'm going to keep it at that for now.  I apologize as I know you all probably hoped for more uplifting news, but I don't have it.  Please refrain from the God or miracle talk-I can't hear it right now.  If you're reading this, you probably know me well enough to know that I won't listen to it and it will most likely just upset me more than I already am.  Thank you all so much for caring and being my sounding board.

Take care of yourselves.

Lili/Daughter/Mother/Store Owner


  1. Thanks for sharing this with us Lili. I know from experience this is a very tough time. I am still hoping to take Wil for that ride down the road.
    Love you!

  2. With strength dignity and smiles you are a special daughter .. Thank you and keep sharing. love, Pandy

  3. Lili, I've been thinking of you and your dad. I lost my father-in-law to cancer 3 years ago. It sucks. But I enjoyed spending time with him in those last few months, even if it was difficult. Please know my thoughts are with you. And if massage can help at all (my FIL found it quite soothing) let me know. Seriously, I will come over there! 590-5339. Erin

  4. Love you both...lots of stuff swirling as I read this and cry...great big hugs to you all during this terrible and very heartwrenching time. You're in my heart...all my love......Dawn

  5. From far away, I send you positive energy. these challenges make us stronger, but it hurts to see your dad in this stage. He is so fortunate to have you close by and your daughter has given him so much joy also. You make him proud :-)
    Hang in there...keep strong and this lemonade is pure without sugar, but its bitter-non-sweet taste is part of the farewell.
    a big hug to Wil and his loving family,
    Carla & Manuel in Cali (Anne Walker's sister)

  6. You, your father and your family are never far from our thoughts. While we a mindful of how precious this time is and don't want to intrude on this, I just wanted to remind you that we are always on call for anything you or your family might need. Please don't hesitate to ask for anything at all. Much love to all of you.

  7. My love and prayers go out to Will and your family. I loved the pictures he posted of his days in uniform, Josh looks so much like him:) One day at a time makes the journey a little more smooth.
    Love Debbie Rogers

  8. stay strong love of a parent is a joy only hold the love in your heart

  9. Hard to read, especially when we care so much for Wil! You are a great, amazing daughter. Much LOVE and Prayers sent from Nashville TN.
    Thanks for posting!
    Raymond, Jean Marie, and James Tamburello