Friday, August 14, 2009

Update On Dad...End Near

The last month has been very trying at times. Thank goodness we have a close knit family and each of us contributes as best we can in taking care of dad. Two people are needed at all times and hospice has been called in to assist. He is to the point of very little intake of food (maybe half bowl of cereal a day) and very little fluids. He is having a hard time swallowing at all and can barely talk.

The main problem, at this point, is he still wants to do things for himself. He has to constantly be reminded that without our help, if he falls, he will be put in the hospital and/or nursing home for recovery purposes should he break anything....and we would rather see him stay at home where he wants to be. His sense of humor is still there.

We have an aid come in to bath him since he doesn't want his daughters doing that (which we fully understand). We use a baby monitor to keep track of him when he's in his bedroom resting because he has a tendency to try and "sneak" out of bed without us hearing him (guess that's where we get our stubbornness from). He doesn't seem to realize just how weak his legs are getting.

The prediction is that he has less than two weeks to live and hospice meds are already available for the relief of pain, anxiety/agitation, and breathing comfort. Oxygen has also been brought in but at this point he refuses to use it. He said if he wanted more oxygen, he would just go outside to get more :>) (there's that humor)!

If you have never gone through seeing someone you love, waste away in this way, it can be a real shock. In my time taking care of him, every week that I arrive at his home (three hours away), he appears more emaciated than the week before and I think "This will be his last few days", only to go the next week and see that his appearance is even worse but he's still hanging on. With two siblings on duty at all times, it gives one person a chance to rest for three or four hours and still have the option of that person being there should there be a need for two people to help with a situation in his care. But believe me, at the end of two or three days, you become exhausted yourself and are relieved when the next two siblings come for their rotation of caregiving. Yet, I wouldn't trade this time with my dad for anything!

If you think "things" are important in're missing the boat. Keep your family close and don't miss an opportunity to tell them you love them!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Family Update

My Brother:

To start off with, brother has faired relatively well as far as digestive problems since the January report. He still is hoping his "regulation" becomes more predictable since he can not sleep through the night due to having to empty things during the night. He also has a problem of passing gas all the time which can be embarrassing when you are at a meeting at work and other places. He has been trying different products for controlling gas, but nothing seems to work presently. He also has been trying to determine which foods promote the problem. That's been kind of hit and miss so far also.

The other problem he has been having is the leg that he had to have a stent put in due to the side effect of the chemo that sort of destroyed the vein. Well that same stent had collapsed and his leg started swelling again. Upon going into the hospital once again to clear the vein and perhaps replace the stent, it was discovered that there was too much blockage this time for them to get at it! He was referred to a special specialist(!) at another hospital that perhaps could help him with this problem.

He saw that doctor last week. The doctor told him that at this point he didn't want to do anything. Reason being, he wanted my brother to be sure to get plenty of exercise to see if the veins that are working properly in that leg will take up the job of the one that isn't working (apparently this happens often in our bodies).

If, with added exercise, and elevation above the heart for at least 30 minutes a day, there isn't improvement in four to five months, then they will assess other options. Surgery to replace the vein would be one option at that time.

My Father:

My father with his lung cancer, is doing as well as can be expected considering his age (93). Up until two weeks ago, he was still living by himself. It has now become necessary for us siblings to take turns staying with him. His energy is low again, which means taking him back to the doctors to be refueled with a couple of pints of blood (it was explained to us that due to his age, his body was just not producing blood like your's or mine does normally). Usually, right after these "refuelings", he perks right up. The problem is that the periods between "refueling" is getting shorter. It was 3-4 months. It's only been a month since his last fuel-up. I take that as not a good sign.

He doesn't appear to be in any pain in regards to his lung cancer. The only pain he complains of is from his hip surgery a few years back. Therefore, he moves around very little because it hurts. His mental capabilities seem to be deteriorating quite a bit also, thus the need for someone to be with him to make sure he takes the right meds at the right times.

I love him dearly and certainly don't want him suffering unnecessarily!

My Sister:

She is doing pretty good. Again, there is swelling one arm (due to chemo) and she is suppose to be using a particular massage procedure to keep the swelling down. She did it for a while but became bored with it and is now just accepting that one arm will be larger than the other due to the swelling. Her checkups so far have all been great (but that's to be expected at this early time after treatments).

New Alt. Cancer Info:

I am amazed at the new sources that are showing up all the time regarding alternative/natural cancer treatments. A number of these are now being used by the mainstream medical industry, but they are not actively advertising these natural treatments due to the heavy government/medical/pharma industry harassment they would receive. I'll report more on these in another update.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

For The Ladies Re: Mammography & Breast Cancer

I've long become an advocate of NOT having mammograms! From the information I've seen from professionals, the harm far outweighs the good. Far too often, it has been found, women have had further procedures (surgery) due to a test result that wasn't accurate. Read this article below from the Associated Press: (Due to copywrite, this article has been revised to quote just the part that pertains to mammograms.)

"FDA scientists complain to Obama of 'corruption'


WASHINGTON (AP) — In an unusually blunt letter, a group of federal scientists is complaining to the Obama transition team of widespread managerial misconduct in a division of the Food and Drug Administration.

"The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the scientific review process for medical devices at the FDA has been corrupted and distorted by current FDA managers, thereby placing the American people at risk," said the letter, dated Wednesday and written on the agency's Center for Devices and Radiological Health letterhead.........(several paragraphs down)

In the letter the group singled out mammography computer-aided detection devices as an example of a technology that should not have gone forward. The devices were supposed to improve breast cancer detection, but instead studies showed they were associated with false alarms that led to unnecessary breast biopsies.

Since 2006, FDA experts have recommended five times against approving the devices without better clinical evidence, the letter said. In March of last year, a panel of outside advisers supported some of the concerns of the FDA's in-house scientists. Nonetheless, FDA managers overruled the objections and ordered approval."
(Bold emphasis added)

I've talked to my own immediate family regarding this procedure and they still go along with whatever their physician recommends. It needs to be understood that 9 times out of 10, if a lump is detected with a mammogram, chances are that it could have just as easily been detected by self-examination. The added radiation from the mammogram is doing you more harm than good (I don't care how minute they say it is).

It's also barbaric! It has always been hard for me to believe that...if you have a lump in your's okay to compress it between to metal plates of pressure...and nothing is going to happen to aggravate the cancer more!

Everyone of my female siblings (eight of us) and myself, have had a lumpectomy performed at some time in our lives. Some of us have had it done twice. This procedure is done when a mammography shows a lump and they go in to see whether it's cancerous or just a lump. Every time they were just lumps.

My two siblings who have had breast cancer, the cancers were not found by mammography first!
In fact, both siblings found the lumps themselves within six months after having their regular examinations.

Now would someone please tell me what the advantage is to having a mammogram?

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