Wednesdays are the days I bring my dad in for his chemotherapy. I need to make sure Emmett and I get ready along with Clarabelle, and a few minutes after she heads out for her school day, we head out to pick Grandpa up from the care facility. I have to make sure I pack some things to keep the 4 year old occupied so I can be eyes and ears for Grandpa when the nurses question him and the doctor gives us an update. Thankfully the Cancer Center has cookies or graham crackers available usually, so that's enough of a treat to keep the little one happy. Sometimes Grandpa even enjoys those too.
Today marked the beginning of Round 4, so we met with his doctor and she got a handle on how Dad felt off treatment for 2 weeks, what his symptoms are, whether he can continue to tolerate the dosage she has prescribed, and so on. At the end of this round, he'll be scanned again and we can see how his body is responding. So far so good, the therapy has been more effective than we dared hope for at the beginning.
Hope. That is something a terminal illness makes you examine. Can you hope to get better? If the end of days is in sight, what hope remains? Up' til that point, if you believe in God and life after death, those things may or may not feel vital to your well being or of utmost importance on a daily basis. Times like these bring them fully into the spectrum of what is real and vital.
Besides those loftier unknowns, from a physical standpoint, just enduring the illness and the effects of the treatment can make it a challenge just to get up and dress for the day. As the daughter to one experiencing this, it's wearing emotionally. It's been hard for me to accept the terminal part of his diagnosis, and words like 'palliation; and extending life. At the beginning I really wanted there to be a fix, for us to just be able to work hard, research enough, change his diet, have aggressive therapy, and beat it. Now I have learned to accept what he is going through and how it is for him.
But it is still draining emotionally to see him weakened, easily confused, worn out, sick. I am glad I can support him, glad he is still with us. It is hard when you want to make something better, and simply can't.