Dad has been complaining of stomach and back pain intermittently for the past 2 or 3 months. Mom had taken him to the local doctor and they ordered xrays and an endoscopy of his esophageal area. Biopsy came back negative. It is just arthritis in his back and acid reflux in his stomach. Mom asked if this all could be from stress(thinking of Angie and her journey) to which the doctor replied "certainly". So they came home and went about their usual daily routine (dad was even cutting wood one day). Dad was prescribed his first continuous prescription of Lipitor in 84 years (we think the doctor felt that he didn't want dad to feel left out and not have any prescription medicines at 84 years old). 😂
In the meantime, a scheduled annual trip to Angie's to make apple pies was happening on Saturday of last week but when dad had another bad night, mom woke up on Thursday and said... We are going to have you looked at in the cities.
They drove down to Woodbury (saw Angie briefly ) and went to the urgency room. Had a wonderful doctor there who did an xray. Came back into the room and said we need to do a scan as we see spots on your liver. Did the scan and came back into the room with the news of pancreatic cancer that has spread to his liver and abdomen. Of course mom was just flabbergasted. Just unbelievable !!! Mom put her arms in the air and said, "you are kidding me"!! The doctor said let's get you to the hospital and have a biopsy as well as get set up with palliative care. Chemotherapy was not recommended and dad did not want to do that.
So off to the hospital we went.
At 84 years old, dad had his first overnight stay in the hospital (he wasn't even born in a hospital ). A biopsy was done on his liver on Friday morning and he was discharged that afternoon to Molly's house in Cottage Grove until Sunday (have to get the pies made!!) Palliative care was set up and has been wonderful in helping get dad back home.
As previously planned, a visit to help with pies and to see Angie, Hannah (Matt's oldest) flew in from Montana and Mariah (Angie's youngest) flew in from Pennsylvania on Friday. With the help of several grandchildren, and the abundance of Todd's apple tree, 19 large apple pies were made and frozen for our enjoyment over the winter. A little applesauce and apple crisp was made as well.
Mom and dad made it home on Sunday afternoon. Neighbor Dick was there to help get dad settled in and unload the car.
Dad has been in pain and has had lots of nausea as well since Friday. Hospice was here Monday afternoon and we are making some changes to his medication in the hopes that he will get some relief and can get some food in him. Last night he was able to eat a couple of crackers and drink some ginger ale so we were pleased with that. He is still able to walk but he is weak on his feet. Wakes up for a short time and then back to bed. He has lost lots of weight over the summer so we need to get some strength back into him.
We have made arrangements so that one of us kids are always here for mom and dad for the next two weeks at least. We hope to get him comfortable and able to enjoy some more days soon. Until then, we can only take each day at a time. Mom is a strong woman and has a huge support system throughout all of this. She is amazing! Have to remember to treat her as a wife and not a nurse through all of this!
Always be kind and hug your loved ones often!