Two weeks & three days . . .

. . . since Dad's last dialysis treatment.  

It is so hard for me as a daughter to watch my mother not be able to let her husband, my father, die peacefully. As Mom hangs on, she wakes Dad in the middle of a peaceful sleep so that she can offer him food, which he refuses to eat.  Mom pushes Dad to take just one more sip of Glucerna (dietary supplement), to try one more bite of arroz caldo.  And with what strength Dad has, he pushes back, waves her hand away and asks Mom, why does she insist on frustrating him?   

Mom has been hesitant to use the Comfort Kit which hospice provides. Not wanting to see Dad completely sedated, she has been refusing to apply any additional pain & anxiety relieving patches or consider the sub-lingual morphine as a possibility. 

Hard to watch.

I sometimes massage Dad's head right above his brow with some eucalyptus oil. He says it's just enough to help his headaches, and it has a nice scent but not too strong.  Must be some special potion.

An advocate for my dad, I have tried to suggest softly to my mom that Dad is fully aware of what is happening to him.  Though he has his confused moments, he understands when he is in pain and knows that he no longer wants to eat because he wants eternal life.  He said so.

One night Tita Beth, a neighbor and friend from across the street, came over to pray with Dad. At the end of the rosary,  she asked Dad to let go of all of his anxieties in his heart and give them up to God, who would relieve him of all that he was burdened by.  Crying, Dad shared that he kept so much inside and all he wants to do is have the courage to let go because he wants to die and see eternity. 

Hard to watch. 

We called for a hospice nurse to come to the house when we realized that Dad's speech was slurred, and his left side seemed weaker.  The hospice nurse confirmed that Dad's cancer has probably progressed to his brain a bit given his intermittent confusion and impaired speech. Acknowledging how difficult it is for especially family members to see their loved ones in care subdued, she encouraged Mom to use the Comfort Kit so that Dad can be comfortable as he nears death.

Mom opened the Comfort Kit last night.  Finally.