On July 20, 2017, Dad was unusually weak, tired and complained of tenderness in his tummy and ribs. It seemed to be something more than his usual Parkinson's challenges. He had taken a significant fall a few days earlier and there was concern that perhaps he'd been injured worse than we all realized. He was transported to the hospital emergency room where he got poked, prodded and scanned, thoroughly. Maybe he'd hit his head or broken a rib. Nothing stood out in any of the results to explain his condition, so he was admitted for further observation.
Friday, the radiologist informed Dad's doctor that when they looked at the CT scan of dad's chest (expecting to see an injury from the fall), he had noticed something completely unrelated. Dad's Common Bile Duct was enlarged. This would call for further investigation. An MRI was ordered.
Dad's deteriorated condition and Parkinson's posed too much of a challenge to get the MRI over the weekend, so most of the efforts were put toward keeping him comfortable and giving him fluids. At times he was very confused and agitated. Other times he was quite perky and charming, entertaining all of us with his dry wit and sarcasm. Then, completely unable to even open his eyes at other times.
The weekend passed and Monday morning we tried another attempt at getting the MRI. This time it was a success. Dad seemed to be in good spirits, asking to go for a walk and eating nearly all of his food at every meal. Of course, he wasn't strong enough to actually walk, but we took a wheelchair stroll around the parking lot and he enjoyed the sunshine, saying, "That feels so good. Warms you to the bone."
Tuesday arrived. Dad was weaker again, laying quietly with his eyes shut most of the time, but aware of his surroundings and our conversations. His doctor met with us to explain what had shown up on the MRI. "A mass. A tumor in the pancreas." A silent invader has been growing .
We don't know how long dad will hold on, but it is our devoted intention to give him as much comfort and love as we possibly can. He and the family have decided to focus on palliative care.
We appreciate your love, support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.