My uncle was told today that the cancer spread to his chest, back, and lymph nodes. Not surprising since when we were last there a couple weeks ago he had trouble getting up and moving. When I saw him I thought to myself he's not going to last much longer. Well the Dr said chemotherapy might help but unsure.
My mom really wants to go in and just talk to him in person. He called her and told her he was afraid. Afraid of dying yet in pain. My mom I know is very sad and afraid of being alone. My dad is slipping away in a different manner. His bad days outweigh his good. He is getting more confused.
My uncle is 74 and fully cognizant. He understand what is happening. When my uncle passes I'm sure my aunt whom he's been married to for 53 years will pass soon after. She also is not well. And my mom will be alone with my dad. While my aunt and uncle haven't been physically helping my mom, they have been emotionally there for her these past months just listening and letting her vent or have something to do (cooking and dropping meals for them as she cooks solo). Unfortunately they both are unable to cook anymore. They've always been there for her from teaching her about her first checking/savings account. To offering money so she could get divorced and not work a second job because I needed her. To hand me down in clothing and baby goods (probably why I was a tomboy!)
I know that she wants a few moments to sit and chat reminisce and just be. Unfortunately my dad is not able to do that. So she can drive by and drop food and go to the door for a minute while my dad sits in the car.
I thought when I booked my tickets last month that going back a month later wouldn't be worth it. I wasn't sure but I felt like I hadn't had enough time with my mom. And now I know I was right. She has tried a new caregiver, the last one got sick right before I came. She managed to hire someone today and tried them out. It didn't go well.
But I am pushing for her not to stop. To keep trying to have the person come and maybe my dad will accept and be used too. The truth is she needs help now. This is a short term thing. Caring for the caregiver is sometimes just as important as the patient. My mom thinks I'm coming to help with my dad. Truth is that my dad is slowly slipping away unable to recognize even me. He doesn't recognize the kids or their names. But she needs us more than he does.
Hugs to all caregivers out there. Realize that you are appreciated and that there are others hoping to help you. Take it.