Monday, 2 February 2009

God give me strength!!

.......and save me from moronic men! Please excuse while I rant awhile as I can't think who else to rant to and DH has heard it all before.

As I mentioned in a previous post my FIL has inoperable pancreatic cancer and is going downhill visibly week on week. Since the first diagnosis he has decided to cope with this by pretending it isn't happening - I can't see the logic in this but can't comment more than that as I am not in his shoes, and if this is his way of dealing with it, so be it.

What I find gobsmacking however, is the attitude of his sons (the eldest, and for once, the sensible, son is my DH). The youngest is Trouble (with a capital T) and has always been - trouble with the police, drugs stealing etc, leaves his partner with 3 small children on a monthly basis, thinks he knows everything about everything and is a general b**lsh***er etc (you know the sort) is aged 35 now and should have grown up by now but obviously it will never happen. It is no suprise that he has decided he is in charge of everything now and as such this involves doing exactly the same as his father...."Dad's fine", etc.

Anyway, to explain this rant, I need to start on Friday early evening when we got a panic phone call from son #3 to say Dad is bleeding heavily and shaking uncontrollably and the doctor has rung for the ambulance. To which we assumed pretty much the end had come but had to wait until FIL was seen in the hospital as to what we needed to do, ie whether we needed to take DS down to my uncle & aunt so we could spend however long at ARI (Aberdeen Royal Infirmary). So, move on 1 1/2 hours and we get another phone call to say that FIL is okay but will be kept in and needs a blood transfusion. We go in to see FIL on Saturday and the difference in him in the 2 weeks since we've seen him is startling (we had to avoid him for over a week because of all the colds we had). His upper arms are no bigger than my wrists and this exceptionally proud and often belligerent stubborn arrogant man had an accident while we were there. While all was being dealt with I went and talked to a staff nurse about what point we were at and she told me nothing positive which was what I expected. We got to talking about the local hospice which offers different services from day-care, to 2-3 day stays to long-term etc and she asked had we talked about it. I answered no but would talk it over explaining that FIL and son #3 were playing ostriches by burying their heads in the sand and pretending it wasn't happening, but that I didn't know what son #2 was doing as I hadn't spoken to him directly but that he was more likely to be being realistic as he is quite sensible.

Roll on Saturday evening and DH phones his brother (son #2) and whilst talking to him is shaking his head at me, I thought no, it can't be. So when I take the phone the first thing I said was "Doesn't he (FIL) look awful?" to which son #2 answered "No, he's fine" and further into the conversation "When Dad recovers....." (to which I couldn't help myself and said you know that 97% of patients do NOT recover to which there was no answer!!!!! I honestly couldn't believe what I was hearing - son #2 had also been in to ARI to see FIL that afternoon so unless he was visiting another patient I don't know what he saw - what I (& DH) saw was a reasonably heathly specimen for a skeleton but as a human being, beyond description with skeletal arms and legs, bloated abdomen and a curious shade of grey. So I mowed on and tried to talk about the hospice, needless to say was told that Dad didn't need that etc. Now obviously after our call son #2 rang son #3 and we got an abusive call first thing Sunday morning from son #3 to say that that Dad didn't need the hospice and that we were NOT to mention it to FIL. Now, when someone orders me not to do something that is like a red rag to a bull, so I was determined to at least see what FIL said about it even though I thought the answer would be an explosive NO. So on Sunday when we were up at the hospital I plowed on and only got a couple of wimpering no's before I finally got him to agree to at least think about it. Having said that his next comment was that he has decided that when (more likely if) he got out he was going to go on some of these 5 days coach trips he had been on before!!!!! To which I said you won't get travel insurance and explained that a programme of the TV earlier last week had asked the 5 biggest insurance companies here about insurance for a 2 year "cured" prostatic cancer patient - all 5 had refused to insure him but had the programme had eventually tracked down 2 companies that would insure that man but not for anything related to the cancer and for a £250 holiday the insurance for a week would be £3500!!!!!!!

Let us examine FIL further
- 73 year old male with inoperable pancreatic cancer
- on second blood tranfusion in as many weeks (this time 2 units still only raised his blood pressure to 97/51
- goes into shock through haemorrhaging piles due to 10+ day long constipation
- is only 3 treatments into 12 treatment course of chemo as 2 have been delayed as he has not been well enough
- weighs 54kg
- has fairly frequent bladder (and probably other if wasn't constipated) accidents

and according to himself and two of his sons - Dad is FINE and is going to go on holiday soon!!!!! If it wasn't happening to us I REALLY wouldn't believe it was happening.

On a happier note I sent off my Valentine exchange today having finally sewn onto the tea towel all the stuff last night so I can feel partly virtuous (Karey excepted).

Must go


Sarah said...

Oh hon I'm so sorry!! I went through this when my mother had cancer. Seemed like I was the only one who was not clueless. You've done what you can!! That's all you can do! Huge hugs and hang in there. Sarah

Randi said...

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength,
And abundantly available help in trouble.

Trayna, You asked for strength from the Infinite Source of strength...and more. May He also comfort your family and give you wisdom during this difficult time. My prayers are with you.

JaneB said...

All I can say to this is that my dad went down hill over a period of about 13 years. First stomach cancer (he carried on smoking) then lung cancer (stoppped smoking)and finally the liver cancer took him. He refused all treatment apart from the main operations, and carried on regardless, he was much stronger (mentally)than my mum. In the last stages he went into hospital twice to be built up (weighing only 6stone) but that was how he wanted it, mum gave him the best of care and worried herself to a standstill over him. He ended his days at home in his own bed, his mind as bright as a button to the last minute but his body completely used up. My advice for what it is worth - You can only do what you can, the rest us up to them. Just be there for him and try not to destroy your family ties it is never worth it in the end. Hugs xxxx