My dad is back in the hospital. Not that he told any of us until my grandmother threatened to call his boss at work to find out what was going on with him, since he wasn’t replying to any text messages.
It seems that his Stage 4 Colon Cancer has spread from his liver to his kidney’s, causing the left kidney to swell up and put him in severe pain. Worse than kidney stone pain, which I would imagine equates to something slightly worse than childbirth. He’s on Dilaudid for pain, and is waiting to have scans done to see exactly what the deal is.
My dad refused chemo and radiation last year when he was diagnosed. He had surgery to have the tumor removed from his colon, and partially from his liver. The doctor refused to do anything more if he was going to refuse chemo and radiation. My dad decided to do The Mistletoe treatment and cashed in his life insurance policy to pay for it, since private insurance doesn’t cover holistic treatments. After doing the treatment, his blood work was coming back better than good, and it seemed as if there was some miracle to be found in this holistic treatment, without all of the side-effects of chemo and radiation. For a while there, he was doing great, or so he said.
I went by the hospital this morning before going into work. I know my dad is super introverted (worse than I am), but the thought of him lying alone in that hospital with nobody checking on him, hurts my heart. I feel like he’s trying to die alone so as not to be a burden on anyone, or have to face the crying eyes of his family. My grandmother can hardly deal with it, and so we try to sugar-coat what’s going on as much as possible. I have to live with her, and being an empath is difficult when she gets on her crying spells – especially if she’s super medicated on her Gabapentin and loopy enough to make all of this even more traumatic for her than it is for anyone else.
I’m sad for him. He seems to be accepting of whatever happens. Radiation may be an option, and he said that he will do it if that will keep the pain away. I didn’t say anything about the blisters and pus that often happens afterward. It’s equivalent to second degree burns, according to what I see on my patients when they come in for their appointments. You can always tell when someone has had radiation; it changes their physical appearance to someone unrecognizable.
And as much of an empath as I am – I can feel what other people feel, even if I don’t know them. Total strangers will unknowingly project their feelings onto me when I’m out and about – I can’t feel anything off of my dad. I don’t know if it’s because he has shut himself off so much from everyone that he doesn’t project himself. It seems that perhaps he and I may share quite a few qualities, and he understands what it is to project oneself onto someone else, and so he is mindful to keep all of his feelings to himself. My dad has always held people at arms length, and for that I don’t understand why. According to my mother (if you can believe anything she says), even from a young age he always kept to himself and never let anyone get too close. It’s frustrating because I’m trying to spend as much time with him as I can before he dies. I’ve only had a year of slightly normal conversation with him, and now he’s sick. I dreamed my entire life of having my dad give two damns about me. Now that he does, he’s dying – and the two are mutually exclusive. He didn’t start coming around until the diagnosis. I often wonder if he’d still be MIA if he were perfectly healthy. That thought makes me sad. I’m still like the back-burner daughter. Like “let me make my amends before I travel to the big man, because it’s the right thing to do.”