Grasshopper
Happy Dog Germs Day

Over, Part One

Yesterday, the doctors told my dad it's time. It's time to stop. No more chemo. It's not working. 

At first, he misunderstood, thinking they just meant his current chemo drug. Then, I guess, he argued. What about a port? Another protocol? Something stronger, harder, newer? There has to be something else.

No. There is no "something else" they can do. 

For the cancer, that is. That, for all intents and purposes, has already won. But there's always something they can do to your body, some procedure, some test to gauge or stem the related fallout without really touching the cause or buying more time. More transfusions, blood work, CT scans, MRIs, chest X-rays, all stuff they continue to order because that's what their patient is choosing -- to go down swinging from a hospital bed instead of accepting hospice care, and I know, I KNOW. 

For the love of God, I know. Trust me, this would not be my choice. But...this isn't my choice to make. It's his. I don't know whether it's determination or denial, because it's simply not up for discussion.

No hospice talk, no canceling the invasive tests to find out what we already know talk, no special-diet whole-foods raw-kale-enzyme talk, no alternative hippie-dippie wheat grass herbal supplement talk and I can't say that I even blame him on a couple of those topics, because it gets awfully tiring having to listen to someone who "cured" someone else's stage four cancer with nothing but vegetable juicing and fish oil because it's all a conspiracy, maaaan, and my mouth is like, mmmhmm wow that's so interesting and my brain is like, no you fucking didn't, shut up.  

If my dad wants to eat nothing but processed artificial franken-comfort-foods topped with an entire container Cool Whip, I'm not going to argue with him about that. I'm not arguing with him about his choice to refuse hospice and continue medical interventions, either. It's not agreeing, but if the point of everything is to make our remaining time together as good as possible, well. Okay. We can find plenty of other things to talk about, and we do.

I did make him some turkey meatballs with organic sauce and whole-grain pasta that he really liked, at least. 

It'd be easier -- especially on my mom, who is so tired of hospitals and tests and doctors and just wants him to come home and stay there with her, so badly -- if he'd accept hospice and all that goes with it, but then...damn, "easier?" Did I really just type that word? Really? 

Because either way, I'm going to lose my dad. And it hurts so very, very fucking much. 

Comments

Becky

I'm so sorry -- you're in my thoughts.

Megan

I am so very sorry to read this, but also so impressed on your strength in choosing to support him in going out the way he chooses. It's a big, very loving gift.

Miss Grace

I'm sorry.

souphead

I'm sorry Amy. Cancer sucks so hard!
:(

Valria

Fuck Cancer and its Fucking abnormal dividing cells.

*so sorry*

Linda Albright

I having nothing soothing to say, but I want you to know how much I appreciate your writing about your father--& about everything else. Thank you.

Kate

I've been there. I'm sorry, and I wish you all peace.

Jen

I'm so sorry. I can relate to the feelings your having, and I know it sucks beyond belief. And I also know that no amount ((hugs)) will fix any of it. Nonetheless! Nonetheless, I'm sending virtual hugs and praying for strength and comfort for you and your family and peace for your dad.

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]

I'm so terribly sorry. I wish comfort for you and your family.

Dead Cow Girl

I'm so very sorry. I wish there was something I could say that would make it easier.

Lisa V

Oh Amy, I'm sorry.

Dona

Amy -- I lost my dad in October -- but to something entirely different, but I'm thinking of you and praying for you and your family -- for what that is worth. It's hard and it may get harder. I wish I could say something to make it all better. You make my day when I see you've posted something.

Valerie Gibson

I know, Amy. I KNOW. You're doing everything right and feeling everything right, no matter which way you feel at any second. I'm so sorry for what you're going through and what you're facing. Thinking of you often...

Mandee

So terribly sorry, Amy.

joaaanna

I can't say anything but I'm so sorry that you and your family is going through this.

Francie

I'm very sorry. I lost my dad over 10 years ago now, at age 22, and I still think of him every day. We all are thinking of you.

Jessica V

I'm so sorry Amy...such a horrible thing to have to deal with. I'll be thinking about you and your family.

Jenni

I lost my dad in September. You're right, it sucks. I'm so sorry. Enjoy your time with him and make the best memories you can.

Heather B.

Amy...God...I don't even know right now. I'll call you in a bit.

Sundry

I'm so, so sorry for all your family has been going through. I hope there's some peace soon for everyone.

Jen

So sorry, Amy. xoxo

Marianne

I'm so very sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts, Amy.

Issa

I'm so sorry Amy.

Heather

Fuck cancer is right. I'm so sorry- you and your family are in my thoughts.

Maria

I'm so sorry, Amy... I will be praying for you and your family!

jive turkey

My chest is tight just reading this. I can't imagine how you guys must feel. Thinking of you.

Val

I am so very sorry it's here. It's reached this point. I'm in tears for you. For him. For what's to come. For what has passed. I am sorry.

Val

I am so very sorry it's here. It's reached this point. I'm in tears for you. For him. For what's to come. For what has passed. I am sorry.

Val

I am so very sorry it's here. It's reached this point. I'm in tears for you. For him. For what's to come. For what has passed. I am sorry.

jive turkey

My chest is tight just reading this. I can't imagine how you guys must feel. Thinking of you.

Angela

Oh Amy. I'm sorry. You're right though. There's so much to talk about and arguing just has no place right now. Just love him.

Kathleen

Sending all the hugs we've got over here. So sorry.

Geralyn Broder Murray

Cancer so sucks. Losing your Dad sucks. So sorry for what you're going through.

daysgoby

This fucking, fucking disease.

I am so very sorry.

Lee Anne

I am so very sorry. Sending thoughts of comfort your way.

agirlandaboy

Here's wishing you all a whole lot of peace and smiles and togetherness.

Erin

I'm so sorry Amy, you and your family are in my thought and prayers during this tough time. We went through this last year with my Grandmother, she also was one tough cookie who refused to stop, and I know how you must be feeling. I'm so sorry you have to go through this, cancer sucks so bad.

mortimersmom

oh honey, I was right there, where you are, exactely 1 year ago. it sucks. sucks the big toe as we say around her. Just enjoy the moments as much as possible. and if there is anyone who can talk to your dad about hospice, please have them do it. You and your mom need that special time with him, minus all the interventions.

TwoBusy

What an achingly sad and strange time for you all.

I wish I had something more to offer than "I'm sorry."

Melissa

Wishing comfort and peace and strength to all of you.

Stimey

I am so sorry.

Stimey

I am so sorry.

Megan

I wish there was something else to say...but you pretty much say it all here. So sorry.

Can I add that your Top Chef recap had me laughing out loud?

Lisa

I am so, so sorry. But glad that you love him so.

Stephanie

I'm so sorry Amy. I'm watching very close family friends go through this same process right now and it's so fucking unfair. Sending many good vibes your way.

baltimoregal

Again, additionally, I am sorry.
I read an article a while back about hospice patients (I can try to find it if you want) that said something like 99% per cent know they are dying, but 100% hope they’re not...
I think your dad's not even in the 99% yet but I don't know that you want him to be? Best of luck to you Amy.

Diane

No words, Amy. I'm just so terribly sorry.

Alicia

I'm so sorry... Sending love and support!

Nicole

I am so, so sorry. Of course there are no words that will ease what you all are enduring, but know that all of us are thinking of you and praying for you and your family every day.

As another commenter said, it makes my day to see that you've posted. Thank you for sharing every bit of your life with us.

Wishing you all comfort and peace, and sending you hugs.

sweetsalty kate

I'm so sorry. Hold hands. That's pretty much the most important thing. That and cool whip or whatever feels right for him.

Big heart to you and your family. xo

Julie

Oh god, my heart just clenched at the opening line of this entry.

I'm so, SO sorry....this sucks so bad, and really, I just wish I could give you a hug.

Emily

I know we always say we'll make plans and then never do, but if you need a distraction or a get together, EVEN AT AN ANIMAL PARK, we are here for you.

I'm so sorry this is happening. Thinking of all of you, and praying for peace and comfort.

Dawn

I am so, so sorry for all that your family is going through. It's JUST NOT FAIR for someone as vital as your dad to have all of his options pretty much taken away. It's NOT FAIR for you to lose your dad and it's certainly NOT FAIR for your kids to lose their grandfather. Wishing love and peace for all of you.

Sonja

So sorry that this time has come. So, so much love to you and your whole family.

Tiffany

I am so very sorry. No other words.

annie

So sorry, Amy.

Maggie

Nothing else to say, except I am sorry.

Heartworks

I remember that moment. When the doctors essentially said there wasn't anything they could do and I knew I had lost my Dad. Maybe 2days maybe 2 weeks maybe 2 months but he was going and there was no hope to think otherwise. It's excruciating and I am so sorry for your pain.

Snarky Mommy

So sucky. And so sorry.

I know you have told him everything a million times, but hospice doesn't always mean the end. It just means being comfortable and not in pain. Sometimes once people aren't in so damn much pain, they rally a little because they feel better.

Genevieve

That sucks so very much. I am sorry.

Robynn

My dad had a heart attack 4 years ago today and died one week later before I ever got to see him again. I am so sorry for your situation but how very lucky you are that you have this time with him.

Robynn

My dad had a heart attack 4 years ago today and died one week later before I ever got to see him again. I am so sorry for your situation but how very lucky you are that you have this time with him.

gabrielle

I'm so sorry. Thinking of you and your family. *hugs*

Joanna

I'm so sorry.

Rachel

So very sorry. Fuck cancer indeed.

JenS

I don't have anything particularly unique to say- just to echo that Im sorry you and your family are going through this and CANCER SUCKS THE BIG ONE and I think it's important that you are supporting him in his decisions. We just found out my dad has stage 3 lung cancer about 2 weeks ago. He is doing chemo but he's miserable. I find myself crying half the time when I read your blog. You're not alone in this and it's nice to remember that neither am I.

tonya

Coming out of hiding just to say that I'm so very very sorry.

AmyC65

Really sad to hear this, Amy. I'll be thinking and praying for you and yours.

Charla

I'm so terribly sorry. I almost never comment, but my chest tightens every time you post a new post about your dad. Wishing comfort and peace for you and your family.

Alli

I have tears streaming down my face. It fucking sucks. There are no other words. Except that I think your dad sounds like an incredible man.

Lisa

I'm so sorry. That sucks.

mrs. q.

Oh, gah. sobbing. I'm so, so very sorry.

What you are going through reminds me of when I lost my dad to fucking cancer 6 years ago (while I was 5 months pregnant). He never came home. He refused to accept he'd "go home" just to die. Even when he could no longer eat real food, one of his biggest joys, he never stopped swinging. Only difference is that my mom was OK with his decision, because deep down, she was afraid of being overwhelmed by his care.

Even when the body is failing, the mind has an overwhelming ability to keep going. Do what you can, even if it's calling or cooking, and he has to do the rest.

Thoughts and prayers are with you all. --Karen

Jan

Sorry brave one.

Melissa

I asking this in the nicest, most supportive tone: Does your dad's doctor have a social worker practice that they use for patients like your dad? Does the hospital?

Having just gone through this with grandmothers (mine, his), the social worker was *invaluable* to keeping everyone together (or, well, as much as you can be). One grandmother opted for hospice and the other opted for soup-to-nuts.

For both, the social worker helped with are-you-sure talk, helped family members talk more effectively and openly... And it helped one grandmother accept that she was nearing the end. She was so, so angry and dander-up (rightfully) and I really would have hated to see her spend her final days in such a state. Basically, helped us all go from basket case to grievously upset.

Sprite's Keeper

So sorry for you and your family.

Sprite's Keeper

So sorry for you and your family.

Stephanie

I'm so, so sorry. I wish you did not have go through this. I hope that you, your parents and your family can feel the love, prayers and warm thoughts coming your way from all over.

Andrea

Long time reader (like when you only had 1 tiny chunkylicious babe-long-time-reader!), first time commenter.

I'm so very sorry you're going through this. I know exactly what you're going through, and it sucks.

Nothing I can write here will make you feel better, or prepare you for what's ahead.

All I can say, is be strong. For you, your mom, your family, your kids.

And especially for your dad.

xoxo

billie

Having gone through losing my Dad in November, I know exactly what you're feeling. I learned that "it hurts" is not just a saying. It truly is a PHYSICAL pain one experiences. All I can say is, with each day that passes, that pain gets just a bit softer. I don't expect it will ever go away because I loved him so very much and will miss him always, but "softer" makes it possible to move on and begin functioning again. I'm sorry, Amy.

Starbuck

I'm so sorry Amy.

Susan

Just wamted to say how sorry I am - and our prayers are with you and your family.
We went through the exact same thing on 09 - I do know what you are going through. Sometimes letting go is really, really hard.

Roberta

I'm sorry, so sorry. Grab every last second with him, every damn one that you can, no matter what. My heartfelt... *everything* to you & your family.

Roberta

I'm sorry, so sorry. Grab every last second with him, every damn one that you can, no matter what. My heartfelt... *everything* to you & your family.

lumaia

I'm so sorry.

Janice

I'm bawling... I'm so sorry... for you and your whole family... :(

Lauren

I know that words are not much help... but I hope that knowing how very much we all care, does.

Thinking of you, your family and your dad...

Jessie Mae

I'm so sorry. I'm in a similar place right now, and it sucks big time.

Nina

I am so, so sorry Amy.

Dr. Maureen

I'm so sorry for what you and your family are going through, Amy.

SarahB

I am so sorry. From your last post about your dad, this post didn't seem far off, but it's still a punch in the gut to read. I can't imagine what a punch in the gut it is to live.

One poster mentioned hospital social workers, and they also helped our family immensely during my grandfather's lengthy illness and dying process.

And...maybe...it might be worth it to ask the doctor whether more interventions or comfort care would be more likely to give your dad more time, because it is ultimately more time he wants, right?

Gah. I'm just so sorry.

Lara

Speaking from experience on this... accepting hospice is akin to accepting this fate. Comfort aside, I can see how a father/husband with such an amazing family wouldn't be willing to accept this fate. Fathers will go down fighting all the way in order to stay and watch over their families. So he fights. Let him fight. And give him chocolate cake when he asks for it.

Stephanie

I'm so very, very sorry.

beyond

i'm very sorry.

JB

I'm so sorry, hon. *Hugs*.

[Disclaimer if an internet stranger giving you "hugs" is weird...um...didn't mean for it to be weird. *awkward*].

In all seriousness, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Mel

Fuck fucking cancer indeed. And bring on the fucking Cool Whip.

JB

I'm so sorry, hon. *Hugs*.

[Disclaimer if an internet stranger giving you "hugs" is weird...um...didn't mean for it to be weird. *awkward*].

In all seriousness, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Madeleine

Longtime reader going through the same issue with a family member. We just had the "over" talk with my loved one two weeks ago, and it turned out we had very little time left. I'm so sorry that you are in this place and wish your whole family good time left together.

marissa

Oh, Amy.

Sheryl

I cannot imagine how it must feel to be confronted with the reality that your dad is dying. I wish for a miracle, and if that doesn't happen, I wish for peace and comfort for all of you through out the time you have together and after he's gone

Amy in StL

Little girls shouldn't ever lose their dad. I'm so sorry to hear that it's something closer on your radar screen than you want. With my dad in his late 80s I fear every virus or illness he has will be the one. I can't fathom that day.

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