What a year 2009 was. I cannot begin to express the hard year my family has faced. My Dad had disease progression of his cancer in the spring and although surgery was an option it was not felt he would likely survive the surgery to remove the recurrence of the adrenal bed metastasis that had previously been removed in Sept of 2008. So we packed up and opted to have radiation and low dose chemotherapy in Lexington, Ky for 6 weeks. Thankfully my brother lives in Lexington and made his home like a bed and bath resort providing every comfort for us while Dad endured the treatments. In Sept of this year Dad continued to have significant pain and began getting injections into his shoulders for the pain. He also developed atrial fibrillation and was admitted to the hospital. A CT scan done as an outpatient showed a new lesion in the left lower lung. My Dad continued to fight and went a bought a new truck the day after he was told this news. Dad's pain continued to increase and he was admitted to the hospital after he was unable to lay on the table for a bone scan. After being medicated the limited bone scan showed no cancer in his bones. Dad opted to try another chemotherapy. After the first dose he became very weak and he was started on very strong medication for his continued pain. After the 2nd chemotherapy dose a MRI of his brain showed no cancer in his brain. He developed very severe diarrhea and on Nov 7th was admitted to the hospital. Dad came home the Monday night before Thanksgiving and was readmitted to the hospital on the Wed before Thanksgiving. He was moved to the rehab floor of the hospital to try to help him get stronger to come home and came home in my car on Christmas Day. Dad is now in a hospital bed in his living room and is a total care. We have home health coming in to help manage his care, but the majority of his care is done by myself, Austin, Mom, Corey, and my brother. Thankfully my brother's friend Kyle who is a nurse came home with my brother this weekend and is taking the night shift. This enables Gary to rest and me to come home for a few days. We are cherishing the small glimpse we see of Dad although fewer and farther between.
It seems like we missed the holidays, on the Saturday after Christmas I fixed a small dinner to take to my parent's house and Austin said Mom this really feels more like Thanksgiving. Christmas eve was spent in the hospital with my Dad, my friend's son David came by and visited and a dear friend Pam, who lost her Dad last year and is now getting chemotherapy came by and brought my brother a great snack as Gary did the night shift. My dear friend Tammy brought her signature sugar cookies by on Christmas Eve and Dad ate one and asked for a second one.
I know I am rambling, but one's head gets full and I have not released a lot of my feelings and thoughts in a long time. I cry when alone and sometimes with friends, I find it hard to talk about others that have lost loved ones and are going through the same kind of hurt and loss that my family is facing. My Dad has always been a big, strong Teddy Bear that bounced back from any obstacle. He has just fought so hard for 3 long years and his body is losing the battle, although I know his spirit is still in there and strong.
My Mom is exhausted and has lost significant weight in the last 3 months. No wonder this has been a non stop ride for her also.
Austin is doing well, he has been so good to help with the care of Dad and Mom. The wind storm before the snow storm wiped out the electricity at my parents. Austin took charge of the situation and was so strong.
Corey has also stepped up to the plate and been so wonderful to help, also keeping my house live able. Did I mention that Corey is seeing a new girl that is a christian and comes from a good family......yeah!
What can I say about my Randy, he never complains when I am not home for days and days and continues to work so hard to provide for his family.
I want to say that my family and friends praying is what has sustained me through the end of 2009 and will get me through what I will face in the days to ahead.
I have started reading a lot of blogs and the battles that others have faced also helps give me strength to face sometimes the next second....next my sweet Britney at daveandbritplusone.com has no idea what joy I and my Mom have reading about the sweet, sweet, happy, Miss Kennedy. We also shared the pictures with my Dad when he was still able to see the computer screen...thank you Brit for sharing Kennedy and your life with us.
Love to all....on to 2010.