Over, Part One
February 11, 2011
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.