An update on Chris' Dad
After some discussion, it was decided to do hospice and we were all optimistic, Dad especially, that he would be able to get up and around enough to leave the house, even drive and maybe work with Chris in their workshop. Unfortunately, in the past week, his health has gone quickly downhill and now hospice gives him less than a month to live.
Since Chris is not working, because he's been dealing with doctor's appointments, hospice, visiting nurses, etc, I began taking as many speaking engagements as possible to make up for the loss of income. Luckily, what with the media hype about Myspace and online predators, I have been gone every week, sometimes twice a week. That's the downside of being self-employed, we don't get paid holidays, sick or vacation days. But it's workable for now.
Chris' dad is so bad that Chris or I need to stay overnight at his parent's house to help his mom. It turns out she was not telling anyone she wasn't getting any sleep until Dad fell down on Thursday night. Mom feels like she is imposing, calling the visiting nurses in the middle of night, or even calling us. She has gotten over that.
I took over first duty last night. A hospital bed was installed in their house yesterday afternoon, with full side rails. I took a nap yesterday before heading over and thank goodness I did. His dad actually got out of bed once, then tried to get out several other times during the night. Each time, I either put him back in bed myself or woke up Mom and she helped me scooch him back up into bed. I did call the visiting nurses and they told me to give him some Atavan, which helps restlessness and he finally slept for a solid two hours.
When I woke up, Mom had him sitting up in a chair next to his bed and was looking at me sheepishly, admitting she couldn't get him back into bed.
So this morning, the visiting nurse, when he came in, laid down the law with her - no more getting Dad out of bed. He has to stay in bed, no matter what. They are coming twice a day now and a volunteer comes for 3-4 hours in the morning on the weekdays, then Chris or I are staying at night. This coming Tuesday and Wednesday nights will be bad, because I am off for my next engagement in Pennsylvania. Hospice does not have nurses available for overnight stays and hiring one to stay is expensive.
Chris' sisters changed their plans when they were told Dad was going downhill and are flying in Thursday, thank goodness, and will be here until Sunday. Chris and I will sorely need that break.
So Chris and I are not seeing much of each other right now. We're like "ships passing in the night." Our dogs, Bandit and Guin, seem to know something is wrong and have been unusually attentive.
I will be in touch when the time comes to let you know that Dad has passed away. Until then, if you want to send Mom a "thinking of you card," please email me for their mailing address. Even if you don't know her, putting a note that you're a friend of Chris and Jayne's would brighten her day.
You never expect cancer to hit your family, then it does. I have had some friends and relatives of close friends die from cancer in recent years and could not put into words any comfort other than "I'm thinking of you." Those four words are probably the best ones anyone can express.