Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Disclaimer-this is likely to make absolutely no sense!

It's been a really rough week.

I've been debating about whether to write about it, or to take a little blog break...

And then I started re-reading many of Julie's posts, like this one And I'm realizing how much it helps to hear about how other people find a way to cope or make sense or whatever. I don't know.

I've mentioned before that my dad was sick.

It is not cancer.

It started with an infection in his pancreas.

He was in Florida, had surgery. seemed to get a little better. came home. was not better. Thursday they rushed him to Milwaukee for emergency surgery. Friday morning he had surgery number 1. Saturday morning he had surgery number 2.

I admit, before the surgery when we were sitting in his room and they were going over the risks and having him sign consent forms, I really didn't think that death was a possibility. I mean, I knew it was serious. But he's otherwise in pretty good health. Not, likely to run a marathon anytime soon, but overall healthy. We were actually joking about it! My brother told him if he saw a light to turn around and run the other way!

My dad just smiled and said, "no, if he says it's my time, then it's my time...I'm OK with that, I trust him." Gave me chills. Still does.

So the surgeries went well. I guess. Apparently just the fact that he survived the surgeries was somewhat surprising to the doctors. We weren't all that surprised. He's tough. He's stubborn. He's a fighter.

Then they told us, he may get better. He may be able to go home in a few weeks. He may continue to feel better for a few months.

a few months?

The Doctor (with the most horrendous bedside manner) could read it on all of our faces. a few months?

He warned us not to "get too excited". "Eventually this will kill him".

What the hell do you say to that?

What the hell do you do with that?

How do you go on being hopeful, when it feels hopeless?

How do look at him everyday and wonder if today is the day?

It's so hard.

And there seems to be quite a variation of coping skills amongst the 8 of us...my sister and I are looking for signs...trying to find meaning in every move he makes or word he mumbles...my other sister and brother are making lists of questions for the doctors...some are rarely leaving his bedside...and some refuse to believe that it's as bad as the Dr's say...

I guess we all have to figure out our own way to do this. to handle this. to prepare for this.

How do you prepare to lose someone your not ready to lose?


Christina said...

Oh Jess. I'm so sorry. I wish I had words of wisdom or advice or comfort. Please just know that you and your entire family are in our thoughts.

rebekah said...

Oh Jess. I don't know how to do that. I'm not sure it can be done.

It doesn't seem to make sense at all.

Please please let me know what I can do, if anything.

Calmil2 said...

Oh trust me, I don't have any answers. I lost a friend this week and was not at all ready. Maybe we never are. I will say that I hope the time you have left with your Dad brings you comfort and peace.

Julie said...

Jess, I am so sorry. I don't know what to say. I feel like I should know, but I don't.

Some thoughts,

Say what you need to say to your dad, all of it.

Don't be afraid to be direct and demanding with the doctors.
Don't be afraid to get second opinions.
Don't be afraid to say, "Listen Doc, were you absent from Med school on the bedside manner lesson day?"
The best person I have ever seen in a hospital situation is my husband. The nurses might roll their eyes and say, "Oh no, that guy again" but they respected him, and did what he asked for, for me and for his mom.

Lean on your siblings.

Come, come for a bit of respite in the middle of so much sadness. Come, rest awhile.

Hugs to you.

C- said...

Jess, I can't even imagine what you must be feeling right now. It is so incomprehensible and unfair that life can change so suddenly like this.

I am with Julie and think you should go west for respite. You have way too much on your plate right now.

Thinking of you and your family.

rebekah said...

You should write Julie's advice down on a little piece of paper to carry around in your palm.

Heatherbean said...

I am so, so sorry. I don't know what to say, but I am here.

Missy said...

I think about that a lot too. My mom says, "Live life to the fullest" but it's hard to stay positive all the time... I hope you find something that can help you through this. I know its really tough- my family is always willing to listen/talk. I will definitely keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Amy said...

Jess, we just want to let you know that you and your entire family are in our thoughts and prayers. Sue keeps giving us updates as well as the caringbridge site. Please let us know if there is anything you need. Your family has a lot of love, faith and strength to make it through this and get your dad into better health.

Katie and Eric, Amy and Emily

M and M said...

This might sound counterintuitive, but when my mother was sick, I helped her live while dying and I helped her die while living. That's how I did it. It was 6 months. 6 amazing awful months. So, in part, there's no way to be ready.

stephanie said...

I'm so sorry to read this, Jess. I wish I had some advice for you, but even if I did, it wouldn't be as good as Julie's,so ditto on her beautiful thoughts.

Sending healing juju to your dad.

Kari said...

Oh Jess!!! I am so sorry. Please know that you will be in our thoughts, and if we can do anything please let me know.

I don't think there is a way to prepare for what will come. Just enjoy every moment that you have until then.

Sending big hugs your way!