Right now it's a little bit before midnight. Yesterday, I took Pop to see his Oncologist for probably the last time. The CAT scan was taken a couple of weeks ago, and the results weren't good. The cancer is out of control now. It's taken over his liver, and it's returned to his lungs as well as his bone. His doctor thought we would tell him the news, but I thought it best if the doctor, Pop's daughter and I all sat down together to talk about it.
And so it went. Pop took the news without saying too much. The Oncologist told him that further treatment with the Tarceva was counter-productive now, and that it would only make him more ill and uncomfortable. It was a rather unceremonious end to a very good relationship with that doctor.
It's a very surreal experience, sitting with someone and listening as he is told that there is little, if any, hope, and that from here on in there is nothing more that can be done. It's hard to watch someone receive a death sentence, but it's even worse when it's a family member, and you were holding out hope that your care could matter in the prognosis. You think you can make magic, and it's terrible when you realize that isn't going to happen.
So here we sit, just he and I. He's sleeping most of the time. The cancer is visibly taking him down now, and he's lost most of his strength. He has to be lifted and assisted with most everything, but the medicines seem to be keeping his pain at bay for now. His breathing is very labored, and he has occasional moments of discomfort, but they seem to pass. Drugs are merciful that way.
This is one of those times where nothing is certain. By all appearances, this is a short-term battle now. No one with any authority would say what kind of time is left. His care will be transferred from the Oncologist to the hospice care professionals now. The paperwork is due to begin Monday morning, and the sooner, the better.
There's just so much to think about.